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S. 190 


APRIL 21, 22, AND JUNE 4, 1954 

Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary 

49632 WASHINGTO'N : 1954 


Dt.-021TED SY TH£ 

OCT 26 1954 

WILLIAM LANGER, North Dakota, Chairman 








HARLEY M. KILGORB, West Virginia 
JAMES O. EASTLAND, Mississippi 
OLIN D. JOHNSTON, South Carolina 
JOHN L. McCLELLAN, Arkansas 

Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency in the United States 

ROBERT C. HENDRICKSON, New Jersey, Chairman 

THOMAS C. HENNINGS, Jr., Missouri 
Herbert J. Hannoch, Chief Counsel i 

1 Herbert Wilton Beaser succeeded Herbert J. Hannoch as Chief Counsel to the subcom- 
mittee on May 1, 1954. 



Statement of Fulton, Hon. E. D., Member, House of Commons, Canada 248 

Statement submitted by — 

Eichhorn, William A., executive vice-president, American News 

Co., New York, N. Y 279 

Fiske, Joseph J., education director, Cartoonics, New York, N. Y 166 

Kaplon, J. Jerome, chairman, juvenile delinquency committee, 

Union County Bar Association, Union County, N. J 293 

Testimony of — 

Appel, Charles, proprietor of Angus Drug, St. Paul, Minn 233 

. /v Bender, Dr. Lauretta, senior psychiatrist, Bellevue Hospital, New 

^^ York, N. Y 151 

Black, Samuel, vice president, Atlantic Coast Independent Distributors 

Association, Springfield, Mass 266 

Chamberlain, Harold, circulation director. Independent News Co., 

New York, N. Y 222 

X \. Clendenen, Richard, executive director. United States Senate Subcom- 

-^ ^\ mittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency 3 

Davis, George B., president, Kable News Co., New York, N. Y 236 

Dybwad, Gunnar, executive director, Child Study Association of 

America, New York, N. Y 119 

Eichhorn, William A., executive vice president, American News Co., 

New York, N. Y 274 

-v^F'itzpatrick, Assemblyman James A., chairman, New York State 
^-•^^ Joint Legislative Committee To Study the Publication of Comics. _ 202 
Freedman, Benjamin, chairman of the board. Newsdealers Association 

of Greater New York and America 215 

Friedman, William K., attorney and publisher, New York, N. Y 146 

Froehlich, Monroe, Jr., business manager, Magazine Management 

Co., New York, N. Y 167 

Gaines, William M., publisher, Entertaining Comics Group, New York, 

N. Y 97 

Kaplon, J. Jerome, chairman, juvenile delinquency committee, Union 

County Bar Association, Union County, N. J___' 280 

Kelly, Walt, artist, creator of Pogo, president. National Cartoonists 
Society, accompanied by Milton Caniff, artist, creator of Steve 
Canyon, and Joseph Musial, educational director. National Cartoon- 
ists Society, New York, N. Y 109 

Meyer, Mrs. Helen, vice president, Dell Publications, accompanied 

by Matthew Murphy, editor, Dell Publications, New York, N. Y 195 

Peck, Dr. Harris, director, bureau of mental health services, children's 
court. New York City court of domestic relations, New York, 

N. Y 63 

Richter, William, counsel, News Dealers Association of Greater New 

York, N. Y 183 

Roth, Samuel, publisher, New York, N. Y 195 

Schultz, Henry Edward, general counsel. Association of Comics Maga- 
zine Publishers, Inc., New York, N. Y 69 

Segal, Alex, president, Stravon Publications, New York, N. Y 189 

Wertham, Dr. Frederic, psychiatrist, directer, Lafargue Clinic, New 
/ York, N. Y 79 





[Number and summary of exhibits] 

1. Letter of Dr. Robert Felix, director of the Institute of Mental Health, 
addressed to Mr. Richard Clendenen, executive director, Senate 

Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency ^10 

.' %. Survey made by the Library of Congress on Crime Movies, Crime 

"^ Comic Books, and Crime Radio Programs as a Cause of Crime * 12 

3. Copy of article The Comics and Delinquency: Cause or Scapegoat, 
appearing in December 1949 issue of the Journal of Educational 

Sociology ^23 

4a. Nev^r York State Legislative Document (1951) No. 15, Report of the 
New York State Joint Legislative Committee To Study the Pub- 
lication of Comics ^28 

4b. New York State Legislative Document (1952) No. 64, Report of the 
New York State Joint Legislative Committee To Study the Pub- 
lication of Comics ^28 

4c. New York State Legislative Document (1954) No. 37, Report of the 
New York State Joint Legislative Committee To Study the Pub- 
lication of Comics *28 

5. Copy of Brain Washing: American Style ^28 

^ 6a. Publishers whose comic books have been evaluated by the Committee 

on Evaluation of Comic Books, Cincinnati, Ohio ^ 36 

V 6b. An Evaluation of Comic Books, July 1953, printed by the Committee 
on Evaluation of Comic Books, Cincinnati, Ohio ^ AQ 

7. 555 Comic Magazines Rated, reprint from Parent's magazine ^ 45 

8a. Letter of Association of Comic Magazine Publishers, Inc., addressed 
to all publishers of comics magazines alleging that comic magazines 

are cominunistic ^60 

8b. Copy of Are You a Red Dupe? ^Q2 

9. Comics code adopted by the Association of Comics Magazine Pub- 
lishers ^70 

10a. What Parents Don't Know About Comic Books, reprint from Ladies' 

Home Journal of November 1953 * 90 

10b. Comic Books— Blueprints for Delinquency, an article appearing in 

the Reader's Digest, May 1954 » 90 

10c. Bound copy of Seduction of the Innocent by Dr. Frederic Wertham_ > 90 

11. Copies of educational comic books published by Entertaining Comics 

Group 197 

12. Copies of crime and horror comic books published by Entertaining 

Comics Group * 105 

13. Code of the National Cartoonists Society ^116 

14. Comic Books Help Curb Delinquency, an article appearing in The 

New York Times, April 17, 1954 * 117 

15. Looking at the Comics: A Survey by the Children's Book Committee 

of the Child Study Association, reprint from Child Study • 121 

16. Chills and Thrills in Radio, Movies, and Comics, reprint from Child 

Study U22 

17. What About the Comic Books?, reprint from Woman's Day ^ 122 

18. Looking at the Comics — 1949, reprint from Child Study * 123 

19. List of Child Study publications available to the public ' 125 

20. Information concerning the names of the board of directors, the con- 

tributors, and the members of the Child Study Association of 
America *135 

21. Code of the National Comics PubUcations, Inc 2 139 

22. Letter of Dr. Carl H. Rush, executive assistant, American Psycho- 

logical Association, addressed to Mr. Richard Clendenen, executive 
director, Senate Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delin- 
quency ^ 162 

23. Copies of crime and horror comic books published by Magazine Man- 

agement Co ^183 

24. List of books published by Stravon Publications U92 

25. Printed material submitted by Mrs. Helen Meyer ' 199 

26. Bound copies of several 35-cent novels '207 

27. Brochure listing titles of books — *212 

28. Names of magazine wholesalers who have refused to accept crime 

and horror comics '219 

See footnotes on p. t. 



29. Documents submitted by Mr. Charles Appel i236 

30. Samples of ads appearing in magazines distributed by Kable News 

Co 2 242 

31. Window display and pledge card of the New Jersey News Dealers 

Association 1 285 

32. Copy of interim report, juvenile delinquency committee of the Union 

County Bar Association of New Jersey ^290 

33. Depravity for Children, a group of articles appearing in the Hartford 

Courant from February 14 to April 25, 1954 2294 

> On file with the subcommittee. 
* Printed in the record. 

(Comic Books) 


United States Senate, 
Subcommittee of the Committee on 
the Judiciary, To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, 

New York, N. Y. 

The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to call, in room 110, 
United States Courthouse, New York, N. Y., Senator Kobert C. 
Hendrickson (chairman of the subcommittee) , presiding. 

Present: Senators Hendrickson, Kefauver, and Hennings. 

Also present : Herbert J. Hannoch, chief counsel ; Herbert Wilson 
Beaser, associate chief counsel; and Richard Clendenen, executive 

The Chairman. This meeting of the Senate Subcomittee on 
Juvenile Delinquency will now be in order. 

Today and tomorrow the United States Senate Subcommittee Inves- 
tigating Juvenile Delinquency, of which I am the chairman, is going 
into the problem of horror and crime comic books. By comic books, we 
mean pamphlets illustrating stories depicting crimes or dealing with 
horror and sadism. We shall not be talking about the comic strips 
that appear daily in most of our newspapers. 

And we shall be limiting our investigation to those comic books 
dealing with crime and horror. Thus, while there are more than a 
billion comic books sold in the United States each year, our sub- 
committee's interest lies in only a fraction of this publishing field. 

Authorities agree that the majority of comic books are as harmless 
as soda pop. But hundreds of thousands of horror and crime comic 
books are peddled to our young people of impressionable age. 

You will learn during the course of these hearings that we shall 
also not be speaking of all crime comic books. Some of the types of 
crime and horror comic books with which we are concerned have been 
brought into the hearing room for your attention. 

I wish to state emphatically that freedom of the press is not at 
issue in this investigation. The members of this Senate subcomittee — 
Senator Kefauver, Senator Hennings, and Senator Langer — as well 
as myself as chairman, are fully aware of the long, hard, bitter fight 
that has been waged to achieve and preserve the freedom of the press, 
as well as the other freedoms in our Bill of Rights which we cherish in 

We are not a subcommittee of blue-nosed censors. We have no 
preconceived notions as to the possible need for new legislation. We 
want to find out what damage, if any, is being done to our children's 
minds by certain types of publications which contain a substantial 


degree of sadism, crime, and horror. This, and only this, is the task 
at hand. 

Since last November the subcommittee has been holding many 
public hearings into the various facets of the whole problem of juve- 
nile delinquency. The volume of delinquency among our young has 
been quite correctly called the shame of America. If the rising tide 
of juvenile delinquency continues, by 1960 more than one and a half 
million American youngsters from 10 through 17 years of age, will be 
in trouble with the law each year. 

Our subcommittee is seeking honestly and earnestly to determine 
why so many young Americans are unable to adjust themselves into 
the lawful pattern of American society. We are examining the reason 
why more and more of our youngsters steal automobiles, turn to van- 
dalism, commit holdups, or become narcotic addicts. 

The increase in craven crime committed by young Americans is 
rising at a frightening pace. We know that the great mass of our 
American children are not lawbreakers. Even the majority of those 
who get into trouble with our laws are not criminal by nature. 

Nevertheless, more and more of our children are committing serious 
crimes. Our subcommittee is working diligently to seek out ways 
and means to check the trend and reverse the youth crime pattern. 

We are perfectly aware that there is no simple solution to the com- 
plex problem of juvenile delinquency. We know, too, that what 
makes the problem so complex is its great variety of causes and con- 
tributing factors. Our work is to study all these causes and contrib- 
uting factors and to determine what action might be taken. 

It would be wrong to assume that crime and horror comic books 
are the major cause of juvenile delinquency. It would be just as erro- 
neous to state categorically that they have no effect whatsoever in 
aggravating the problem. We are here to determine what effect on the 
whole problem of causation crime and horror comic books do have. 

From the mail received by the subcommittee, we are aware that 
thousands of American parents are greatly concerned about the pos- 
sible detrimental influence certain types of crime and horror comic 
books have upon their children. 

We firmly believe that the public has a right to the best knowledge 
regarding this matter. The public has the right to know who is pro- 
ducing this material and to Iniow how the industry functions. 

Our work during this investigation will be to determine the possible 
delinquency producing effect upon children of certain types of crime 
and horror comic books, and whether or not there are certain offshoots 
growing out of the industry. 

This phase of our investigation is but the first of several into ques- 
tionable, or, should I say, disturbing phases of the mass media fields. 

At a later date, the subcommittee will be attempting to determine 
what negative effects, if any, upon children, are exerted by other types 
of publications, by the radio, the television, and the movies. This is 
not to say that juvenile delinquency is wholly or even substantially 
the result of certain programs and subject matters presented by the 
mass media. But there can be no question that the media plays a sig- 
nificant role in the total problem. 

I will now ask the assistant counsel to call the first witness. 


Senator Kefauver. Mr. Chairman, before we call the first witness, 
I just want to compliment the chairman upon a very excellent state- 
ment of the purposes of this subcommittee and of this hearing here. 

I would like to reemphasize that I feel that congressional hearings 
must be related to something that the Federal Government has juris- 
diction of. This subcommittee is looking into the violations of various 
Federal laws, such as the Dyer Act, Mann Act, violations of the inter- 
state commerce, and in connection with the subject matter under inves- 
tigation we, of course, do have a postal statute which prohibits the 
mailing or using the mails for the distribution and dissemination of 
indecent and scurrilous literature which will be part of the subject 
matter of this hearing. 

The Chairmax. That is correct, Senator. 

Senator Kefauver. I think it is also important to point out that 
Mr. J. Edgar Hoover's report of yesterday shows that whereas the 
increase in population last year was 5 percent, crime had gone up 20 
percent and the particularly large increase was in connection with 
burglary and stealing of automobiles. 

The interesting point is that a large part of the burglaries was com- 
mitted by juveniles. Also juveniles, according to the FBI report, 
comprise 53.6 percent of those arrested for stealing automobiles. 

As the chairman said, we do not have all the answers, but I think 
that it is important to look into the various matters which Mr. Hoover 
and other experts do bring out in connection with the increase in 
juvenile delinquency ; and certainly as to horror and crime comics, not 
the good kind as the chairman said, but the various small part, most 
all the witnesses do have something to say about these. 

We are not going into this hearing with the idea of condemning 
anybody or censoring the press or impairing the freedom of the press 
and bringing out in relation to a Federal statute something so that 
all of these experts on juvenile delinquency are tallying about. 

That is my understanding. 

The Chairman. The Senator from Tennessee is entirely correct 
and the Chair wishes to congratulate and commend the Senator for 
his contribution. 

Now, will counsel call the first witness ? 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Richard Clendenen. 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will 
give before this subcommittee of the Senate Conmiittee on the Judici- 
ary, will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God ? 

Mr. Clendenen. I do. 

The Chairman. The Chair with pleasure announces the presence 
of the distinguished Senator from Missouri, Senator Hennings. 


Mr. Beaser. For the record will you state your name, your address, 
and your present occupation? 

Mr. Clendenen. My name is Richard Clendenen, 1445 Ogden Street 
NW., Washington, D. C. 


I am executive director of the Senate Subcommittee To Investigate 
Juvenile Delinquency. 

Mr. Bex\ser. Mr. Clendenen, will you outline briefly your education 
and experience in the field of juvenile delinquency ? 

The Chairman. Before Mr. Clendenen answers that question, I 
would like to say that the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delin- 
quency feels that we have a very able staff director. 

Mr. Clendenen. Thank you. 

Prior to coming to my present position I had worked in the United 
States Children's Bureau for a period of 7 years, and held there the 
position of Chief of the Juvenile Delinquency Branch. 

Prior to that time I had served in administrative capacities in insti- 
tutions for emotionally disturbed children and delinquent children and 
also have had experience as a probation officer in a juvenile court. 

Mr. Beaser, You are a trained social worker ? 

Mr. Clendenen. I am. 

Mr. Beaser. Speaking on behalf of the staff, have you conducted 
an investigation into the comic-book industry 'i 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, sir; we have. Our investigation into the 
comic-book industry has been almost exclusively limited to those comics 
which themselves center about horror and crime. 

The particular type of comics to which I refer present both pictures 
and stories which relate to almost all types of crime and in many 
instances those crimes are committed through extremely cruel, sadistic, 
and punitive kinds of acts. 

Now, in connection with that question, I should like to make it per- 
fectly clear that our investigation has not been concerned with other 
types of comics, many of which all authorities seem to agree repre- 
sent not only harmless, but many times educational entertainment. 

I should also add that even within that type of comic books known 
as the horror crime comics, there are gradations within this group, 
too. That is, some are much more sadistic, much more lurid, than 
others in the same class or category. 

Now, although our investigations have been limited to this particular 
segment of the comic-book industry, we should not give the impres- 
sion that this is a small portion of the comic-book industry. 

According to estimates w^hich were provided us by the Audit Bureau 
of Circulations and the Controlled Circulation Audits, the two firms 
that publish circulation figures, there were about 422 different kinds 
of comic or comic-book titles on the newsstands in March 1954. 

About one-fourth were of the crime and horror variety. 

Now, as far as all comic books are concerned, although exact figures 
are lacking, most authorities agree that there are probably somewhere 
between 75 million and 100 million comic books sold in this country 
each month. 

If one-quarter of these are of the crime variety of comics, this means 
that there are some 20 million comic books, crime comic books placed 
on the newsstands of this country each month. 

Mr. Beaser. When you say crime and horror comics could you be 
more specific in describing what you are talking about ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Well, we have prepared a certain number of slides 
which show pictures taken from comic books of the type to which we 
have addressed ourselves. 


Now, I would like, for the purpose of illustration, to relate very 
briefly in summary fashion 6 stories, together with pictures illustrating 
these 6 stories which will give you a sampling of the type of comic 
books that we are talking about here. 

Now, in presenting these I would like to say that while it is not 
a random sampling actually it is a deliberate sampling in trying to 
present the various types of stories and pictures that appear. 

These are not typical, rather they are quite typical of the stories 
and pictures which appear in this type of publication. The first 
such crime comic is entitled "Black Magic." 

This is a picture showing the cover or title page of this comic. Now, 
one story in this comic is entitled "Sanctuary," and the cover shots 
relate to this particular story. 

You will note that this shot shows certain inhabitants of this sanctu- 
ary which is really a sort of sanitarium for freaks where freaks can be 
isolated from other persons in society. 

You will note 1 man in the picture has 2 heads and 4 arms, another 
body extends only to the bottom of his rib. But the greatest horror 
of all the freaks m the sanctuary is the attractive looking girl in the 
center of the picture who disguises her grotesque body in a suit of 
foam rubber. 

The final picture shows a young doctor in the sanitarium as he sees 
the girl he loves without her disguise. 

The story closes as the doctor fires bullet after bullet into the girl's 
misshapen body. 

Now, that is an example of a comic of the horror variety. 

The next slide, the second story, is the cover shot of a comic entitled 
"Fight Against Crime." 

One story in this particular issue is entitled "Stick in the Mud". 
This is a story of a very sadistic schoolteacher who is cruel to all of 
the children in her classroom with only one exception. The one ex- 
ception is the son of a well-to-do man who has lost his wife. Through 
her attentions to the son the teacher woos and weds the father. 

The following picture shows the schoolteacher as she stabs her 
husband to deatti in order to inherit his money. She then disguises 
her crime by dragging his body into a bullpen where his corpse is 
mangled and gored. 

The small son, suspecting his stepmother, runs away so that she 
will chase him into the woods where a bed of quicksand is located. 

Our last picture shows the stepmother sinking into the quicksand 
and crying for help. The small son gets the stepmother to confess 
that she murdered his father by pretending he will go for help if she 
does so. 

After her confession he refuses to go for help and stays to watch 
his stepmother die in the quicksand. 

^ The next comic is entitled "Mysterious Adventures." This par- 
ticular issue of which this is a cover shot contains a total of 6 stories 
in which 11 people die violent deaths. 

One story, I think, in this particular issue, has to do with a confirmed 
alcoholic who spends all his wife can earn on alcohol. 

As a result their small son is severely neglected. On the day the 
small son is to start in the first grade in school the mother asks his 
father to escort him to the school. Instead the father iroes to his 


favorite bootlegger and the son goes to school by himself. En route 
he is struck and killed by an automobile. 

Informed of the accident, she returns to find her husband gloating 
over his new supply of liquor. 

Tliis next picture shows the mother killing her alcoholic spouse with 
an ax. She then cuts up his body into small pieces and disposes of 
it by placing the various pieces in the bottles of liquor her husband 
had purchased. 

If you will look at the picture in the lower right-hand panel, you 
will see an ear in one bottle, an eye in another, and a finger in another, 
and so forth. 

Senator Hennings. I wonder if Mr. Clendenen has any figures 
on the relative circulation or sale of this character of things as against 
the more innocuous kind of comics ? To what extent, in other words, 
do these appeal to the children to a greater or less degree than the 
kind we are all more or less familiar with, the harmless comic strips ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Well, about one-fourth of the total comic-book 
titles, that is the different comic books are of the crime and horror 

Now, perhaps not all of those are as rough as some of these that are 

On the other hand, this does constitute a not insubstantial segment of 
the comic-book industry. 

Mr. Beaser. It is about 20 million a month, Senator Kefauver sug- 

Mr. Clendenen. That is right ; 20 million a month of the crime and 
horror variety. 

The Chairman. The Senator from Tennessee. 

Senator Kefauver. Do I understand, Mr. Chairman, the 20 million 
per month is the number sold or placed on sale ? How do you get that 
figure, Mr. Clendenen ? 

Mr. Clendenen. That is a circulation figure which refers to sales. 

The Chairman. Distribution and sales ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, sir. 

Senator Kefauver. Is that from the industry itself ? 

Mr. Clendenen. No, sir; those figures, Senator, are from Audit 
Bureau of Circulations and the Controlled Circulation Audits. 

The two organizations are companies that collect and issue data 
on circulation of various kinds of magazines. 

Senator Kefauver. Thank you, Mr. Clendenen. 

The Chairman. Does the Senator from Missouri have any more 
questions ? 

Senator Hennings. I just wanted to ask Mr. Clendenen another 
question and I do not want to break into his fine presentation of this — 
The Yellow Kid was the first comic strip, was it not ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, sir. 

Senator Hennings. Then we went into the Happy Hooligan and 
Katzen jammers and the ones we used to think were funny as young- 

At any rate, the funnies we knew were really funny, there were 
things in them that were calculated at least to amuse. The daily 
papers throughout the country nowadays carry more and more of 
the so-called serials, whether they deal with crime or whether they 


deal with romance or whether they deal with one thing or another, 
they are more stories now and less of the old comic-strip variety. 

Have you any material on that transition and any observations to 
make as to why obviously that must appeal to the public, or they 
would not run these syndicated strips in the papers as they do. 

What is your view of that, Mr. Clendenen ? Wliy has public taste 
changed apparently? Are we advancing or progressing in that sort 
of thing, or is it the obverse ? 

Mr. Clendenen. There really, of course, are not research base data 
on which an answer to your question could be founded. I am not sure 
whether the public taste has changed or not. 

Certainly the comic-book industry which was born in and of itself 
during the depression years of the thirties, the latter thirties, repre- 
sented perhaps rather than reflected any change in the taste of the 
public, represents a new idea, that is, to j)ut the comics up in book 
form of this kind. 

Just exactly why you have had a transition from the type of comics — 
and now I refer to comic strips, which appeared in an earlier day 
and on which each separate day represented a separate episode and 
were funny to the serious type of strip — I don't have any idea and no 
opinion on it. 

I am not at all sure I said, and if I failed to say, I would like to 
say, that our investigation has not pertained at all to the comic strips 
appearing in the daily newspapers but rather the comic books. 

Senator Hennings. Thank you. 

Mr. Clendenen. The next slide, the next comic that we would like 
to present to you is entitled "Crime Must Pay the Penalty". This 
particular comic has 4 stories in which 27 people meet a violent death. 
One story in this particular issue called "Frisco Mary" concerns an 
attractive and glamorous young woman who gains control of a Cali- 
fornia underworld gang. Under her leadership the gang embarks on 
a series of holdups marked for their ruthlessness and violence. 

Our next picture shows Mary emptying her submachine gun into the 
body of an already wounded police officer after the officer had created 
an alarm and thereby reduced the gang's take in a bank holdup to a 
mere $25,000. 

Now, in all fairness it should be added that Mary finally dies in the 
gas chamber following a violent and lucrative criminal career. 

Now, this is strictly of the crime variety. 

The next comic book is entitled "Strange Tales" and has five stories 
in which 13 people die violently. The story actually begins with a 
man dying on the operating table because the attending doctor is 
so absorbed in his own troubles that he pays no attention whatsoever 
to his patient. 

It develops that this is the story of a promising young surgeon 
who begins to operate on wounded criminals to gain the money de- 
manded by his spendthrift wife. 

After he has ruined his professional career by becoming associated 
with the underworld, the criminal comes to get help for his girl friend 
who has been shot by the police. When the girl is placed upon the 
operating table the doctor discovers that the criminal's girl friend is 
none other than his own wife. 

This picture shows the doctor, first of all, as he recognizes his wife, 
and as he commits suicide by plunging a scalpel into his own chest. 


His wife also dies on the operating table for lack of medical at- 

The next comic, The Haunt of Fear, has 4 stories in which 8 people 
die violently. One story entitled "Head-Room" has to do with a 
spinster who operates a cheap waterfront hotel. The renter of one 
room is a man she would like to marry. 

To win his favor she reduces his rent by letting his room, during 
daytime hours, to an ugly and vicious appearing man. This shot 
shows her renting the room to that individual. 

Meanwhile there are daily reports that a murderer is loose in the 
city who cuts off and carries away his victim's heads. 

The hotelkeeper suspects the vicious appearing daytime roomer and 
searches his room where she discovers six heads hanging on hooks in 
the closet. 

She is discovered there by her favorite roomer who is returning to 
the hotel for the night. 

It develops that he is the murderer and the next picture shows the 
hotelkeeper's head being added to the closet collection. 

From a psychological point of view, however, there is another story 
in this same issue which is really even more perturbing. This is the 
story of an orphan boy who is placed from an orphanage to live with 
nice-appearing foster parents. 

The foster parents give excellent care and pay particular attention 
to his physical health, insisting 'that he eat nourishing food in abun- 

A month later the boy discovers the reason for their solicitude when 
they sneak into his room late at night and announce they are vampires 
about to drink his rich red blood. 

It might be said that right triumphs in the end, however, since the 
boy turns into a werewolf and kills and eats his foster parents. 

The final story is one entitled "Shock Susp-^^^se Stories." It con- 
tains 4 stories in which 6 persons die violently. 

One particular story in this issue is called "Orphan." This is the 
story of a small golden-haired girl named Lucy, of perhaps 8 or 10 
years of age, and the story is told in her own words. 

Lucy hates both her parents. Her father is an alcoholic who beats 
her when drunk. 

Her mother, who never wanted Lucy, has a secret boy friend. The 
only bright spot in Lucy's life is her Aunt Kate, with whom she would 
like to live. 

Lucy's chance to alter the situation comes when the father entering 
the front gate to the home meets his wife who is running away with 
the other man. Snatching a gun from the night table, Lucy shoots 
her father from the window. 

She then runs out into the yard and presses the gun into the hands 
of her mother who has fainted and lies unconscious on the ground. 

Then through Lucy's perjured testimony at the following trial, both 
the mother and her boy friend are convicted of murdering the father 
and are electrocuted. 

This picture shows, first, "Mommie" and then "Stevie" as they die 
in the electric chair. 

The latter two pictures show Lucy's joyous contentment that it has 
all worked out as she had planned and she is now free to live with 
her Aunt Kate. 


The last two comic books I mentioned are published by the Enter- 
taining Comic group and I mention it because the publisher of Enter- 
taining Comic group will be appearing here later this morning. 

Now, that completes the illustration of the type of comics to which 
we are addressing ourselves. 

Mr. Beaser, Just one point, Mr. Clendenen. In talking about the 
child who is placed in a foster home, turned into a werewolf, you said 
that psychologically that was disturbing. "VVliy do you say that ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Let me refer back to the time that I was operating 
an institution for emotionally disturbed children. Any child who is 
not able to live, continue to live, with his own family and who is dis- 
turbed and goes into an institution and then later is facing foster-home 
placement has a great many fears both conscious and unconscious re- 
garding the future. That is, he is very much afraid, very fearful 
about going out and living with the family. 

He has met them, to be sure, but he does not know them and he is a 
very insecure individual to begin with. This is the type of material 
that I myself would feel would greatly increase a youngster's feeling 
of insecurity, anxiety, and panic regarding placement in a foster- 
family home. 

Mr. Beasek. Mr. Clendenen, you produced a number of comic books 
with different titles. Are they all, each one of them, produced by a 
different company ? 

Mr. Clendenen. No, they are not. The organization of the pub- 
lishers in the comic-book industry is really a very complex type of 

I would like to refer here to the Atlas Publishing Co., or Atlas pub- 
lishing group as an example. Atlas represents one of the major pub- 
lishers in the comic-book field and, incidentally, there will be a repre- 
sentative of the Atlas Co. appearing also at these hearings. The Atlas 
Co. is owned by a man-and-wife team, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Goodman. 

Now, the Atlas Publishing Co. publishes between 49 and 50 different 
comic titles. However, this number of comic titles, the 45 or 50 comic 
titles, are produced through no less than some 25 different corpora- 

The Atlas organization also includes still another corporation 
through which it distributes its own publications. This particular 
exhibit shows 20 of the different groups of crime and weird comics 
they produce through 15 corporations. 

Now, although several of the other publishers who are in the busi- 
ness of publishing comic books are smaller, the patterns of organiza- 
tion are essentially the same. 

In other words, many times they organize themselves in forms of 
2, 3, 4, or more different corporations. The end result of this type of 
corporation is that while there are many corporations involved in the 
publishing of comic books, the entire industry really rests in the hands 
of relatively few individuals. 

Mr. Beaser. When you say they organize into different companies, 
do they organize into companies that produce nothing but comic books 
or do tliey produce other types of literature ? 

Mr. Clendenen. No, they also produce other types of literature. 
Many of them produce different kinds of magazines in addition to 
producing comics. 


Now, not only may a particular organization be engaged in produc- 
ing comics, both comic and magazines, but many times they will pro- 
duce both comics and magazines through one individual corporation 
within the group. 

In this exhibit, for example, this particular comic, which is pro- 
duced once again by Atlas — and we are using Atlas merely as an 
example — these particular publications are not only both produced by 
the Atlas, but they are produced by a single corporation within the 
Atlas group. 

Mr. Beaser. You say Atlas group. That is a trade-mark? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, all their publications carry the Atlas trade- 

Mr. Beaser, In the course of your investigation has your staff had 
occasion to review scientific studies which have been made on the effect 
of crime and horror comics upon children and the relationship to 
juvenile delinquency? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, we have. That is, we have reviewed virtually 
all of the surveys and studies that have been made ; that is, we have 
reviewed all that we have been able to find. 

I might say that it probably is not too surprising that the expert 
opinions and findings of these studies are not wholly unanimous. That 
is, there is certain diversity of opinion regarding the effects of these 
materials on youngsters even among these individuals whom we might 
properly qualify ns experts. 

Now, in this connection, I would like to submit to the subcommitte3 
a few items here which relate to this matter of effects of these mate- 
rials upon youngsters. One of these is a survey that was made at our 
request by the Library of Congress which summarizes all of the studies 
that they could locate having to do with the effects of crime comics 
upon the behavior of youngsters. 

The Chairman. Is it your desire that this material be put in the 
record, or made a part of the subcommittee's files ? 

Mr. Clendenen. The latter, I believe. 

The Chairman. I think that would be preferable. 

Mr. Clendenen. I also would like to submit a letter which we re- 
ceived from Dr. Robert Felix, Director of the Institute of Mental 
Health, to whom we submitted samples of these materials and this is 
his reply to us indicating his feelings on the effects of these materials. 

The Chairman, Without objection, that will be made a part of the 
record. Let that be exhibit No. 1, 

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 1," and reads 
as follows:) 

Exhibit No. 1 

Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 

Pi;blic Health Service, 
National Institutes of Health, 

Bethesda, Md., April 8, 1954. 
Mr. Richard Clendenen, 

Executive Director, Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, 
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. 
Dear Mr. Clendenen : Your letter of IMarch 23, 1954, requested un opinion con- 
cerning the effects of comic books upon children. You made it clear that your 
interest does not really include all comic books, but the rather sensational kinds 
of which you sent samples. 


I think it is fair to say at the outset that there are not many data from experi- 
mental sources which answer the question at hand. Let me first cite some rather 
old analogical evidence. A study was made several years ago on the effects of 
movies upon the behavior of children and it was concluded that motion pictures 
have a deleterious influence on 10 percent of males and 25 percent of females. 
It has also been shown that movie attendance by children results in disturbed 
sleep, as indicated by increased motility during sleep. This effect sometimes 
perseveres for 2 or 3 nights. It can therefore be concluded that viewing motion 
pictures is not a neutral event in the case of children. In the absence of similar 
studies concerning comics, I am inclined to extrapolate by saying that I believe 
reading comics may well have similar influences upon children to those that have 
been demonstrated for the movies. 

One can approach this problem also by attempting to indicate what the comics 
really represent. It is clear that they represent stories about people and their 
relationships. It is also clear that the relationships are not tranquil, that they 
are in effect aggressive and hostile. However, children view aggressiveness and 
hostility in many of their daily experiences, and they themselves show aggressive- 
ness and hostility. The comics of the kinds discussed here are exclusively pre- 
occupied with relationships of this kind, and exclusive reading of this material 
is therefore a kind of unbalanced intake for a child. It should be noted, however, 
that all literature, including children's fairy tales, are characterized by treat- 
ment of the aggressive and hostile, and that the comics perhaps distinguish 
themselves only in their rather exclusive interest in situations portraying this 
kind of behavior. 

It has been suggested by some psychiatrists that comic books may have some 
value in that they represent a source of fantasy material to the child, and 
children use fantasy to work out some of their problems and some of their feel- 
ings toward other persons. Working out these feelings through fantasy may 
not be a.s undesirable as working them out through misbehavior or open acts of 
hostility. This point of view can be accepted with some reservations. It is my 
impression that there are other ways of working through problems, such as other 
kinds of reading, play activities with one's peers, activities with adults and the 
like. It seems preferable that the child at least utilize several of these meth- 
ods. There probably is some cause for concern if the child devotes himself in 
a rather excessive manner to comic books as a source of fantasy. 

Comic books may well also be significant with respect to psychological difficul- 
ties the child already possesses. Hostile feelings toward hi.s parents, for in- 
stance, may be brought to the surface through the reading of these books, releas- 
ing the children's anxiety, and thi.s result is not desirable. Furthermore, since 
the violent behavior of the comic books is not limited to the villain of the piece, 
the child may feel that he secures some sanction from this source for the open 
expression of his own tendencies toward violent behavior. Neither of these 
.statements can be interpreted as meaning that the pathology of the child is neces- 
sarily initiated or caused by the comic book, but that there is a significant re- 
lationship between the child's problems and how he reacts to them and the con- 
tent of these materials. It is perfectly fair to say that this is not always a 
salutory result. 

In your letter you several specific questions to which I shall attempt to 
give answers. One question deals with the reactions to comics of the disturbed 
versus the normal child. The emotionally disturbed child may show a greater re- 
action to comic books of this type than will the normal child. Perhaps it would 
be better to say that the emotionally disturbed child may show a greater ten- 
dency to read books of this kind than will the normal child. The child with 
difficulties may find in these books representations of the kinds of problems with 
which he is dealing, and they will therefore have a value for him which will be 
nonexistent or minimal in the case of the child who is relatively free of these 
troubles. In other words, it might be suggested that the kinds of comic books a 
child chooses could provide to the child psychiatrist some clues with respect to 
the kinds of problems faced by the child. 

Your letter also asked about differential effects of the comics upon delinquents 
and nondelinquents. I doubt that the comic books can be blamed for originating 
delinquent trends as such in children, but they might well be instructive in the 
techniques of delinquency and criminality since they do portray techniques of 
criminal activity and of the avoidance of detection. 

It is not my feeling that the solution to delinquency or emotional disturbances 
in children is to be found in the banning or elimination of comic books. Rather, 

49632—54 2 


I feel that parents da have a responsibility for remaining alert to the kinds of 
reading? material and viewing material, including the comics, being utilized by 
their children. The wise parent will exercLse some discretion and some author- 
itative control in this connection. The truly wise parent may realize the symp- 
tomatic importance of a strong and persistent interest in lurid material and will 
perhaps seek guidance or therapy for his child. In summary, I should like to 
add that comics must be viewed as only a part of the total experience of the 
child and that the same principles of guidance which parents must exercise in 
all realms of the child's experience must apply in this area. 

The above comments leave many questions unanswered, but I hope that the 
committee may find this letter of some value in dealing with this difficult prob- 

Sincerely yours, 

R. H. Felix, M. D., 
Director, National Institute of Mental Health. 

Senator Kefauver. Does that go for the first memorandum, too? 
I think the people would like to read the compilation by the Library 
of Congress. 

The Chairman. Without objection, that will be made a part of the 
record. Let it be exhibit No. 2. 

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 2," and reads 
as follows:) 

Exhibit No. 2 

The Libbaby op Congress, 
Legislative Reference Service, 
Washington 25, D. C, March 5, 1954. 

Crime Movies, Crime Comic Books, and Crime Radio Programs as a Cause of 


(Prepared for the use of the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate juvenile 


(Note. — This report on the effect of crime comic books, crime movies, and crime 
radio programs upon delinquency includes quotations from research studies and 
opinions, as well as critiques of several studies.) 

In the past 30 years, from time to time, discussions have arisen, centered 
around first, crime movies, and in later years the crime radio programs, and 
more recently crime comic books with respect to their connection with the causa- 
tion of crime. Opinions have been voiced on this subject by sociologists, crimi- 
nologists, juvenile court judges, psychiatrists, psychologists, and parents' groups, 
and in some instances, research studies have been made. 

Some authorities feel that a realistic appraisal of these forms of entertainment 
indicates that, while there are delinquent cases in which they may be important, 
on the whole their direct influence on the juvenile is either almost nil or serves 
only to aggravate already existent attitudes and personality traits." Herbert 
Blumer and Philip Hauser found in their study over 17 years ago that motion 
pictures were one of the factors that was important in only about 10 percent of 
the delinquent males and 25 percent of the delinquent girls.^ 

Present evidence seems to indicate that the process of acquiring conduct 
norms, both unconventional and conventional, is primarily through intimate 
association with others and personal experiences of a face-to-face nature. De- 
linquents who have already had association through companions with uncon- 
ventional behavior may be further stimulated by crime motion pictures, by 
certain radio programs, or by comic books. In a study made of 1,313 gangs 
in Chicago, Frederic M. Thrasher found that comic strips influenced these groups 
and their activities. Not only did many of the gangs obtain the names from the 
comic strip, but suggestions for vandalism and other destructive activities were 
directly traceable to this source.' 

^ Edwin H. Sutherland. Principles of Criminology, p. 184. 

=! Herbert Blumer and Philip M. Hauser, Movies, Delinquency and Crime, p. 198. 

» Frederic M. Thrasher, The Gang, p. 113. 


To date, there have been few truly scientific investigations of the influence of 
such forms of entertainment on juvenile delinquency. There has been limited 
investigation of the millions of nondelinquent juveniles who avidly attend crime 
movies, listen nightly to several radio broadcasts dealing with criminal cases, 
and read one or two crime comic books a week. 

The present report was prepared after a survey of the available materials in 
the Library of Congress. The basis for choosing articles and studies to be in- 
cluded were the background of the author, his standing and experience in his 
field of specialty; and in the case of the critiques, the author's recognized 
authority to judge the studios. This material is presented in chronological 
order (except when there is a critique of a specific study) with a note about 
the author, and a statement of the purpose of the study. 
Herbert Blumee, and Philip M. Hauser. Movies, Delinquency, and Crime. 

New York: the Macmillan Company. 1933. 233 p. [PN39995.5.B53] 

(Herbert Blumer at the time of this study was associate professor of 
sociology at the University of Chicago, and Philip M. Hausc was an instruc- 
tor in sociology at the same university.) 

The following statement is from the preface of the above book and gives back- 
grotmd material on the reason for the study : 

"The history of [these] investigations is brief. In 1928 William H. Short, 
executive director of the Motion Picture Research Council, invited a group of 
university psychologists, sociologists, and educators to meet with the Members 
of the Council to confer about the possibility of discovering just what effect 
motion pictures have upon children, a subject * * * upon which many conflicting 
opinions and few substantial facts were in existence. The university men pro- 
posed a program of study. When Mr. iShort appealed to the Payne Fund for a 
grant to support such an investigation, he found the foundation receptive be- 
cause of its well-known interest in motion pictures as one of the major influences 
in the lives of modern youth." 

The investigations extended over a period of 4 years (1929-32). The purpose 
was to study the role of motion pictures in the lives of delinquents and criminals 
of both sexes ; and the effects of motion pictures shown to them in prisons and re- 
formatories ; and the effect of movies on uondelintiuents. 

Data were secured by two methods : Questionnaires and autobiographical ac- 
counts. The authors give the following "word of caution" at the beginning of 
their report : 

"These statistical data are based on questionnaire tabulations and must be 
interpreted with great care. They should not be taken as definitely proven 
measurements of different forms of motion-picture influences but rather as rough 
approximations suggestive of a likely extent of such influences * * * question- 
naire responses are in the nature of opinion and judgment and are subject 
to the uncertainty and instability which attend such kinds of response."* 

The reader is cautioned to regard the statistical results as "merely distribu- 
tions of replies roughly suggestive of the extent of different kinds of motion- 
picture influences." ' 

Summary of findings 

"* * * motion pictures were a factor of importance in the delinquent or crim- 
inal careers of about 10 percent of the male and 25 percent of the female offen- 
ders studied * * *. in addition to these readily traced influences, motion pic- 
tures, by reason of subtle and often unconscious effects, may unwittingly dispose 
or lead individuals to various forms of misconduct. 

"Several important indirect influences disposing or leading persons to de- 
linquency or crime are discernible in the experience of male and female offenders." 

"On the other hand, movies may redirect the behavior of delinquents and 
criminals along socially acceptable lines and make them hesitant about, and 
sometimes deter them from, the commission of offenses.' 

"It is evident that motion pictures may exert influences in diametrically oi>- 
posite directions. The movies may help to dispose or lead persons to delinquency 
and crime or they may fortify conventional behavior.* 

* Herbert Blumer and Philip M. Hauser, op. cit., p. 9. 
6 Ibid., p. 10. 

"Ihid., p. 198. 
^ Ibid., p. 199. 

* Ibid., p. 201. 


"* * * the forms of thought and behavior presented by the movies are such as; 
to provide material and incentive to those sensitized to delinquent and criminal 

"Motion pictures play an especially important part in the lives of children, 
reared in socially disorganized areas. The influence of motion pictures seems to 
be proportionate to the weakness of the family, school, church, and neighborhood. 
Where the institutions vphich traditionally have transmitted social attitudes and 
forms of conduct have broken down, as is usually the case in high-rate delin- 
quency areas, motion pictures assume a greater imjDortance as a source of ideas 
and schemes of life." 
Mortimer Adler. Art and Prudence. New York : Longmans, Green & Co., 1937. 

686 pp. [PN1995.5.A4] 

(The author at the time of writing was associate professor of the phi^ 
losophy of law at the University of Chicago.) 

Dr. Adler gives the following explanation for writing this book : 

"As result of their reading of Crime, Law and Social Science, representatives 
of the motion picture producers asked me to review for them the recent empiri- 
cal investigations specifically concerned with the influence of motion pictures on 
human behavior — to make, in short, a similar analysis of the problems, methods 
and results of research' ^'' 

He specifically discusses the Blumer and Hauser study in the following state- 
ments : 

"All through these pages in which case histories are reported, figures cited, 
and similar may-oi'-may-not conclusions drawn, there is no recognition on the 
part of the investigators that they are proceeding without control groups. For 
all they know, if non-delinquents and non-criminals were made to write their 
autobiographies under the same type of guidance [as the delinquents], they 
might find exactly the same kind of items reported as having been impressive 
in or memorable from the motion pictures they had seen. One would then be 
entitled to presume that there may be an unconscious connection in their lives 
between motion pictures and law-abiding behavior, or perhaps the opposite — 
maybe they were law-abiding in spite of motion pictures. 

"Considering the admitted worthlessness of their statistical data and the ad- 
mitted unreliability of questionnaire responses, how are Blumer and Hauser able 
to conclude the chapter on female delinquents with the statement : 'It seems 
clear from the statistical data and from the autobiographical accounts * * * 
that motion picttires are of importance, both directly and indirectly in con- 
tributing to female delinquency.' " 

"As I have said before, research of this sort does not warrant the amount of 
critical attention I have given it. It could be dismissed in terms of the authors' 
direct or implied admissions of the inadequacy of their method, the unreliability 
of their raw materials and the insignificance of their numerical data. 

"But there are good reasons for exhibiting this piece of research in such a 
way that all of its defects are plain to anyone. For one thing, the work of 
Blumer and Hauser has been cited by laymen who are bent upon reform, as a 
scientiflc demonstration that the movies are a cause of crime. For another, 
this type of work is considered creditable by some social scientists." ^ 

Dr. Adler has the following comment to make about the reliability of scien- 
tific research in the study of human behavior : 

"Little of what has been accomplished by research in the field of criminology 
has improved upon the state of common and expert opinion— the "unscientific" 
opinion of men experienced in dealing with criminals. At best, research has 
been confirmatory of our doubt about any factor or set of facts as causative of 

"In the light of speculative standards, the attempt of scientific investigation 
in the field of human behavior should always be praised, even when its achieve- 
ments are of no practical significance. To be practically significant, science 
must definitely alter the state of existing opinion ; but ever when it fails to do 
this, the same probability is better held as a matter of scientific knowledge than 
as a matter of opinion. * * * The intrinsic weakness of the study of human 
behavior as science is further complicated by the methodological incompetence - 
of most of the attempts which have been made." " 

» Ibid., p. 202. 

19 Mortimer Adler. op. cit., xi. 

-^ Ibid., p. 280-281. 

^Ibid., p. 255. 

« Ibid., p. 283. 


'William Healy, and Augusta F. Bronnek. New Light on Delinquency and Its 

Treatment. New Haven : Yale University Press. 1936. 226 p. [HV9069.H37] 
(William Healy, physician and psychologist, was at the time of this study 
director of the Judge Baker Guidance Center, Boston, and Augusta Brouuer 
was associated with him at the center.) 

This study presents the results of a research project conducted for the In- 
stitute of Human Relations at Yale University. The research was conducted 
simultaneously in three American cities (Boston, New Haven, and Detroit). 
Five hundred and seventy-four individuals of one hundred and thirty-three 
families were studied. 

Only brief mention is made of the role of crime motion pictures as an in- 
gredient of delinquent behavior. The authors report that : 

"Interest in the movies was exhibited much more by the delinquents than the 
non-delinquents. Regular attendance once or twice a week was the habit of 
88 of the delinquents as against 42 non-delinquents. Only a few delinquents, 
however, stated that they had derived ideas from gangster or other crime 
pictures upon which they definitely patterned their own delinquencies." " 

-Edwin H. Sutherland. Principles of Criminology. Philadelphia : J. P. Lippin- 
cott Company. 1939. 639 p. [HV6025.S83] 

(The author at the time of publication was professor of sociology, Indiana 

In the preface Dr. Sutherland says the purpose of this book is "to show some 
development of criminology toward science." He also states that "A science 
of criminology is greatly needed at present both for satisfactory understanding 
and for adequate control. The existing criminology is inadequate : It has 
consisted of obviously unsound theories of criminal behavior, of scattered and 
unintegrated factual information, and unwarranted application of that knowl- 
edge to practical problems." 

Among other institutions which relate to crime. Dr. Sutherland says : 

"The motion pictures are unquestionably an extremely important agency in 
•determining the ideas and behavior of people, and especially of children. * * * 
In view of this significant effect produced by the pictures on conduct, the con- 
tent of the pictures is highly important. * * * Children play as gangsters after 
seeing the pictures and are influenced in other ways. Within a month after 'The 
Wild Boys of the Road' was presented as a motion picture in Evanston, Illinois, 
during the Christmas holiday of 1933, fourteen children ran away from home. 
Four of these were apprehended by the police and three of the four stated that 
the freedom depicted in the picture had appealed to them. One of these was a 
girl fifteen years of age and she was dressed in almost identically the same 
^fashion as the girl who had taken the feminine lead in the picture." 

"In fact, the general tendency seems to be that the children who reside in 
areas where delinquency rates are high are influenced more significantly by 
the crime and sex pictures than are those who live in areas of low delinquency 
rates. * * * Upon people who already have a fairly stable scheme of life, as 
adults and as children in good residential areas do, the influence of the motion 
pictures is less harmful than young people whose habits are less definitely formed 
and whose environment is more distinctly limited.^" 

Howard Rowland, "Radio Crime Dramas". Educational Research Bulletin. 

November 15, 1944, pp. 210-217. [L11.E495] 

This study analyzes recording made of 20 radio crime dramas. 

"By and large, radio crime dramas offer no realistic portrayal of the influences 
which produce criminals. Only three of the programs based upon the activities 
of law-enforcement olficers made any attempt to explain the background of 
the offenders. 

* * * There is some evidence that children from delinquent areas listen to 
crime programs proportionately more than children from nondelinquent areas. 
This does not mean, however, that listening to crime programs necessarily is a 
cause of delinquency. Instead, it is more probably that the same economic and 
cultural factors which produce delinquency also pi-oduce a greater number of 
young people who enjoy crime drama more than other types of programs." 

"Children undoubtedly need a certain amount of excitement and aggression in 
their drama, but there must be a point beyond which the law of diminishing 

1* William Healy, and Augusta Bronner, op. cit., p. 
15 Edwin H. Sutherland, op. cit., p. 192. 
"Ibid., p. 193. 
" Howard Rowland, op. cit., p. 213. 


returns begins to operate. Crime and violence in drama lose their cathartic 
value when there is a constant habituation to overdoses of these ingredients 
which not only results in jaded taste in children but may contribute to those 
frustrations which bring about aggressive behavior. If this premise is correct, 
it follows that the producers of crime dramas help bring about some of the 
aggression which these dramas are supposed to relieve." " 

Hans Von Hentig. Crime Causes and Conditions. New York : McGraw-Hill Book 

Company, Inc. 1947. 379 p. [HV6025.H45] 

(The author at the time of publication was Professor of Criminology at 
the University of Kansas City.) 

Dr. Von Hentig, in his preface, says : 

"Crime, being a pattern of social disorganization, has a multiplicity of causa- 
tions that rest on defects and obstructions in the working order of soci- 
ety * * *. The statistics that complement personal observations and the lessons 
to be drawn from the many case studies herein have been brought up to date 
as of 1940 and 1941. 

"* * * In its presentation the book goes its own way. Theoretical views and 
hypotheses are regularly supported by concrete facts as contributed by judges, 
district attorneys, police officers, wardens, prison doctors, criminals and vic- 
tims. * * * Whatever theory is proposed or upheld, it is based on realities 
and exact observation. 

"When movies and radios produce those long-drawn-out slugging scenes in 
which the hero finally downs the bad man, the G-man, the gangster, or the 
sheriff, the cattle rustler, we think that the moral outcome should be enough 
to immunize the aggressive spirit. There will, however, always be some specta- 
tors or hearers who are by disposition in a tense readiness for violence. From 
hearers they turn into doers, today or tomorrow when adequate incentives 
arise. * * * Some children have an inordinate craving for movies ; so have many 
adults. Burt found this inclination in more than 7 percent of his delinquent 
boys.^ The movie has achieved tremendous results in reducing drinking and 
gambling and thereby cutting down delinquency ; yet it may cause misconduct 
as well. 

"There are three sources of possible danger, ably discussed by Burt. While 
some films do not teach crime, they describe criminal techniques. Before the law 
starts its triumphal march, wickedness has to be demonstrated ; it has to be 
nearly successful before being smashed. In this phase a good film advertises 
crime and its technical procedures.^" 

Judith Crist. "Horror in the Nursery." Collier's, March 27, 1948. pp. 22-23. 

( The author quotes extensively from Dr. Frederic Wertham who was for- 
merly the chief resident psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University. He was, 
at the time of the writing of the article, director of the psychiatric service 
at Queens General Hospital.) 

Dr. Wertham * * * said : "The comic books, in intent and effect, are demoral- 
izing the morals of youth. They are sexually aggressive in an abnormal way. 
They make violence alluring and cruelty heroic. They are not educational but 

With 11 other psychiatrists and social workers. Dr. Wertham, senior psychia- 
trist for the New York Department of Hospitals and authority on the causes of 
crime among children, has spent 2 years studying the effect of comic books on 
youngsters. His findings [are] published here for the first time. * * * 

The purpose of the study was to find "not what harm comic books do," Dr. 
Wertham said, "but objectively what effect they have on children. So far we 
have determined that the effect is definitely and completely harmful. * * * We 
do not maintain that comic books automatically cause delinquency in every child 
reader. But we found that comic-book reading was a distinct influencing factor 
in the case of every single delinquent or disturbed child we studied." 

Dr. Wertham does not believe that comic books alone can cause a child to 
become delinquent. 

Dr. Wertham feels that a local enforcement of the penal codes by district 
attorneys, or license commissioners could stop circulation of the most offensive 

18 Ibid., p. 214. 

i» Cyril Burt, The Young Delinquent. D. Appleton-Century Co., Inc., New York, 1925^ 
p. 137. 

«• Hans Von Hentig, op. cit., pp. 323-824. 


Frederic M. Thrasher, "The Comics and Delinquency : Cause or Scapegoat", 

The Journal of Educational Sociology, December 1949, pp. 195-205. 

(The author at the time of writing this article was a professor at New 
York University. He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Educa- 
tional Sociology and author of the Gang, a study of 1,313 gangs in Chicago. 

Dr. Thrasher says that the controversy over motion pictures as a major cause 
of delinquency closely parallels the present controversy over the role of comic 
books in the causation of antisocial behavior. 

"Delinquent and criminal careers can be understood only in terms of the inter- 
action of many factors. Evaluation of their relative influence demands research 
based upon more rigorous sampling and control, and requires the utmost objec- 
tively in the interpretation of the data the research yields. 

"After surveying the studies dealing with the influence of comics we are forced 
to conclude such researches do not exist. The current alarm over the evil 
effects of the comic books rests upon nothing more substantial than the opinion 
and conjecture of a number of psychiatrists, lawyers, and judges. 

"Reduced to their simplest terms, these arguments are that since the movies 
and comics diet is made up of crime, violence, horror, and sex, the children who 
see the movies and read the comics are necessarily stimulated to the performance 
of delinquent acts, cruelty, violence, and undesirable sex behavior. 

"As an example, let us examine the position of the leading crusader against 
the comics. New York's psychiatrist Frederic Wertham. [He] disclaims the 
belief that delinquency can have a single cause and claims to adhere to the con- 
cept of multiple and complex causation of delinquent behavior. But in effect his 
arguments do attribute a large portion of juvenile offenses to the comics. More 
pointedly he maintains that the comics in a complex maze of other factors are 
frequently the precipitating cause of delinquency. 

"AVe may criticize Wertham's conclusions on many grounds, but the major 
weakness of his position is that it is not supported by research data. In Collier's 
March 27, 1948, his findings are said to be the result of 2 years' study conducted 
by him and 11 other psychiatrists and social workers at the Lefarge Clinic in 
New York's Harlem. In this article the claim is made that numerous children 
both delinquent and nondelinquent, rich and poor were studied and that the 
results of these studies led to the major conclusion that the effect of comic books 
is 'definitely and completely harmful'." 

Wertham's major claims rest only on a few selected and extreme cases of 
children's deviate behavior where it is said the comics have played an impor- 
tant role in producing delinquency. Although Wertham has claimed in his 
various writings that he and his associates have studied thousands of children, 
normal and deviate, rich and poor, gifted and mediocre, he presents no statisti- 
cal summary of his investigations. He makes no attempt to substantiate that 
his illustrative cases are in any way typical of all delinquents who read comics, 
or that delinquents who do not read the comics do not commit similar types of 
offenses. He clainxs to use control groups (nondelinquents), but he does not 
describe these controls, how they were set up, how they were equated with his 
experimental groups (delinquents) to assure that the difference in incidence of 
comic book reading, if any, was due to anything more than a selective process 
brought about by the particular area in which he was working. 

"On the basis of the material presented by Wertham with reference to chil- 
dren's experience with the comics, it is doubtful if he has met the requirements 
of scientific case study or the criteria for handling life history materials. He 
does not desci'ibe his techniques or show how they were set up so as to safe- 
guard his findings against invalid conclusions. * * * Unless and until Wertham's 
methods of investigation are de.'^cribed. and demonstrated to be valid and reliable, 
the scientific worker in this field can place no credence in his results. 

"In conclusion, it may be said that no acceptable evidence has been produced 
by Wertham or anyone else for the conclusion that the reading of comic maga- 
zines has or has not a significant relation to delinquent behavior." 

"Looking at the Comics — 1949" (a survey by the children's book committee of 
the Child Study Association). Child Study, fall 1949, pp. 110-112. 
"In the hope of providing an answer * * * the children's book committee of 
the Child Study Association some years ago surveyed about a hundred comic 
magazines and published in Child Study a critique of these for the guidance of 
parents and others working with children. The enormous growth of these pub- 


licatious in the years since this has prompted a resurvey wliich reveals some 
important changes, not only in their quantity but in the liinds of material that 
are being offered in picture-strip magazines. 

"The most regrettable change since the earlier survey has been the increased 
number of these magazines dealing with 'real' crime, and those featuring sex- 
ually suggestive and sadistic pictures. These are presumably not addressed to 
children — are perhaps not even attractive to many of them. Nevertheless, they 
are available at 10 cents for young people to purchase, and are prominently 
displayed on newsstands. Some of these are about as uncouth and savage pic- 
tures and stories as can be found anywhere." 

JosETTE Frank. Comics, Radio, ftlovies — and Children. New York : Public Af- 
fairs Committee, Inc. (Pamphlet Publication No. 148). 1949. 32 p. 

(The author is educational associate in charge of children's books and ra- 
dio on the staff of the Child Study Association of America.) 
In discussing crime and the comics, Josette Frank indicates that a number of 
juvenile court judges have cited the evidence of children brought before them 
who declared that they had "done it because they read it in the comics." Such 
evidence is discounted by others — criminologists and psychologists — who point 
out that children in trouble can hardly be expected to understand their own be- 
liavior, much less explain it. The causes of behavior, they insist, are deep and 
complex. "In studying the causes of behavior problems of children for many 
years," wrote Dr. Mandel Sherman, i)rofessor of educational psychology at the 
University of Chicago, "I have never seen one instance of a child whose behavior 
disturbance originated in the reading of comic books, nor even a case of a delin- 
■quent whose behavior was exaggerated by such readings. A child may ascribe 
his behavior to a comic he has read or a movie he has seen. But such expla- 
nations cannot be considered scientific evidence of causation." " 

Cavanagh, John R. The Comics War. The Journal of Criminal Law and 
Criminology (Northwestern University School of Law) volume XL, June 1949. 
(Dr. Cavanagh is the senior medical officer and psychiatrist, United States 
naval disciplinary barracks, Portsmouth, N. H.) . 

"Little factual evidence has been produced that the comics are harmful. A 
small number of cases have been produced in which comic-book reading has pre- 
ceded or accompanied the commission of a crime. Actually does this prove any- 
thing? * * * If it is true as we are told, that 40 million comic books circulate 
each month and that each one has several readers, should not their harmful 
effects, if any, be more evident? Emotionalism sells better than intellectualism, 
and makes better copy. 

« Hs « « * * * 

"If the comics are as bad as we hear they are, something should be done about 
them. What we need, however, are fewer exclamations and more facts. Up to 
the present there have been more references to the harmful effects of the comics 
in the popular press than in the professional literature. * * * My plea is to 
investigate first why children like comics and secondly to determine, if possible, 
how harmful they really are. 

"* * * the normal aggressive reactions find release in the phnntasies stimu- 
lated by the comic books which thus become the means by which children are able 
to work off their hostility toward their parents and others without the develop- 
ment of guilt which they might otherwise feel. They may thus displace onto 
the characters in the comic books the aggression which would otherwise be too 
dangerous to show overtly or even to imagine. Many have commented on the 
quieting effect of the comics, the "marijuana of the nursery," usually in the 
belief that this is harmful. It seems more likely that the child is merely project- 
ing himself into the story and releasing his aggression in the realm of phantasy 
rather than finding it necessary to be noisy, troublesome, or to indulge in other 
overt aggressive behavior. For the normal child such conduct is not harmful 
or detrimental. For the neurotic child it could be detrimental but not necessarily 
so, and in any case he will be equally harmed by radio or movies. 

^ Josette Frank, op. cit., p. 7. 


"The prevalent attitude seems to be that all comics are objectionable. This 
is certainly not the case, and if you read the 'fine print' almost everyone who 
writes about the comics admits this. Unfortunately, the average reader is not 
concerned with the ordinary work-a-day writings. His attention must be caught 
and retained. * * * in order to retain an audience it is necessary to highlight 
the unusual, the bizarre, the sensuous, the anxiety-producing factors. The facts 
are there, but the usual, the ordinary have slight sales value and consequently 
must be softened in the interest of the stimulating, unusual items. 

"There are comics which are undesirable. These are in the minority. The 
group known collectively as 'jungle adventure comics,' typify this class. Within 
the group all of the features are displayed which have been considered objection- 
able. Here are found the scantily clad females, the chained females, and the 
sexually suggestive situations which are the comics' most objectionable feature. 
However, such pictures and situations become significant principally when viewed 
through the repressions of the viewer and seem to arouse little anxiety in the well- 
adjusted reader. 

New Yobk State Joint Legislative Committee To Study the Publication of 
Comics, formed in 1949. 

The committee reported in 1951 the following findings, which are condensed : 

"1. The entire comic-book industry is remiss in its failure to institute effective 
measures to police and restrain the undesirable minority of stubborn, willful, 
irresponsible publishers of comics whose brazen disregard for anything but their 
profits is responsible for the bad reputation of the publishers of all comics. 

"2. Comics are a most effective medium for the dissemination of ideas and 
when such a medium is used to disseminate bad ideas which may leave deep 
impressions on the keen absorptive minds of children, the unrestricted publica- 
tion and distribution of comics becomes a matter of grave public concern. 

"3. Comics which depict crime, brutality, horror, and which produce race 
hatred impair the ethical development of children, describe how to make weapons 
and how to inflict injuries with these weapons, and how to commit crimes have a 
wide circulation among children. 

"4. The New York State Joint Legislative Committee states flatly as follows : 
Crime comics are a contributing factor leading to juvenile delinquency. 

"5. Instead of reforming, publishers of bad crime comics have banded together, 
employed resourceful legal and public-relations counsel, and so-called educators, 
and experts in a deliberate effort to continue such harmful practices and to fight 
any and every effort to arrest or control such practices. 

"6. The reading of crime comics stimulates sadistic and masochistic attitudes 
and interferes with the normal development of sexual habits in children and pro- 
duces abnormal sexual tendencies in adolescents. 

"A disturbing feature of this situation is that publishers of completely whole- 
some and acceptable comics have come out squarely in support of publishers of the 
objectionable type, even though the latter are making serious competitive inroads 
in their field. One reason given is that all publishers, both good and bad, fear 
any governmental imposition of regulation and possible censorship of their 

The New York State committee grouped objectionable comic books under 
these descriptions : 

1. Those which depict brutality, violence, and crime. 

2. Those which depict ways of inflicting bodily injury, plans for commission 
of crime, and unlawful breakings. 

3. Those which are sexually suggested and in some instances depict semihidden 

The New York committee concluded that governmental regulation should be 
undertaken as a last resort and only after the industry itself has shown an 
inability or incapacity to do it, or has failed or refused to do it." 

Malter, Morton. The content of current comic magazines. Elementary school 
journal (Chicago) v. 52, May 1952: 505-510. 

(Dr. Malter is assistant professor of education at Michigan State College, 
East Lansing). 
"The major purpose of this study is to determine whether or not this impres- 
sion is valid. This is accomplished through an analysis of the comic magazines 
proffered by the publishers during the 2-month period in 1951." 

22 U. S. Congress. House Select Committee on Current Pornograpliic Materials. Report 
pursuant to H. Res. 596. Wasliinffton, U. S. Government Printing Office, 1952, pp. 27-28- 
(82d Cong., 2d sess., H. Rept. No. 2510). 


Mr. Malter wrote to the 22 comic-book publishers listed in the 1950 edition of 
N. W. Ayer & Son's Directory of Newspapers and Periodicals. In return he 
received 185 comic magazines from 17 of these publishers. One published no 
longer put out comic books and four publishers did not answer his request. 

Two of his conclusions follow : 

"1. Various writers have maintained that crime stories dominate the comic 
magazines, while humorous content is restricted. The results of this study 
indicate that this criticism is not valid. Rather, the data suggests (o) that the 
percents of pages devoted to humor and crime are approximately equal and (&) 
that approximately one-third of all comic-story content is devoted to humor. 

"2. The writer concludes that general attacks on the comic magazines are 
unwarranted. Unquestionably, it is desirable for persons to graduate from 
reading comic magazines to the reading of more sophisticated material. How- 
ever, it seems unreasonable to blanket all comic magazines under the heading 
"unacceptable" ; for, as in all other areas, good and bad examples are to be found. 
In attempting to improve reading habits, it seems desirable (a) to eliminate 
unacceptable comic magazines by teaching children to be selective in their 
reading and (6) to make available to readers other books within their 

William W. Beickman. Causes and cures of juvenile delinquency. School 

and society (New York) v. 75, June 28, 1952, p. 410. 

(Dr. Brickman is professor of education at New York University and the 
editor of School and Society Magazine). 

"As one reads the professional literature and the lay expressions of opinion 
about juvenile delinquency, one becomes aware of differences of emphasis and 
of opinion regarding causes, treatments, cures, and preventive work. There 
are those who put their eggs in the basket of comic books, television programs, 
narcotics, or other features of our society. V^hile a trend is in the making 
along the lines of multiple causation and therapeutics, there does not exist 
suflScient recognition of it in public circles. Some still snipe at the old-fashioned 
school for its supposed role in the making of delinquents, while others are equally 
unreasonable in attributing all behavioral ills to progressive education." 

Leverett, Gleason. In defense of comic books. Today's health (Chicago) v. 30, 
Sept. 1952 : 40-41. 

(Mr. Leverett is the former president. Association of Comics Magazine 
"Well over 75 percent of all children between 4 and 19 are regular readers of 
comics magazines. Sales total between 60 and 70 million copies a month. More 
than 400 different comics magazines are on sale today. They constitute more 
than a third of all the newsstand reading matter in this country. The influence 
that this part of the reading diet has on children has become an important con- 
sideration for parents, educators, sociologists, doctors and, in fact, the entire 


"The effect of brutality, sex, sadism, and cruelty in children's reading matter 
is self-evident. No comic book which includes such matter can ever be acceptable. 
The strict code of ethics set up by the Association of Comics Magazine Pub- 
lishers has brought about the elimination of such scenes from the magazines pub- 
lished by association members. Every issue of the magazines put out by members 
is examined before it is printed by an arbiter retained by the association. 

liEWiN, Herbert S. Facts and fears about the comics. Nation's Schools 

( Chicago ) . V. 52, July 1953 : 46-48. 

(Mr. Lewin is a clinical and child psychologist in New York City.) 

"Governors, legislators, parents, and professional educators find themselves in 
.a still growing debate over the reputed psychological menace to millions of chil- 
dren, a threat that sems to lurk between the covers of many comic books. 

"Some zealous experts demand that these booklets be outlawed. Considering 
the widespread demand for the controversial comics, such a move might well re- 
sult in a new source of revenue for enterprising citizens interested in bootlegging 
or blackmarketing the 'hot goods.' " 


"Before discussing our belief that the harmful influence of the comics has 
been overrated, let us give some attention to the thinking that has led to ob- 
jections to them. Many persons concerned with juvenile delinquency and prob- 


lems of mental hygiene believe that there is a direct relationship between the 
reading of undesirable literature and improper behavior. They argue that 
juvenile delinquency frequently occurs alongside of excessive comic-book read- 
ing. They feel that the continuous stress on the excitement and glamor of 
crime might poison the thoughts and emotions of children, and, in certain cases, 
might cause them to become delinquents." 


^'The danger seems to be great. It is of crucial importance to find out whether 
comic-book reading really has the feared due outcome. 

"To answer the questions as to whether the reading of comics actually results 
in antisocial behavior, the following experiment was made recently. Nearly 
260 city boys of average intelligence and between the ages of 12 and 13 were 
closely investigated as to their reading habits and interests." 

* ^ * * * ^ * 

"Apparently comic-book, reading in itself is not the cause of maladjustment 
and similar studies with respect to the effects of radio and television programs 
confirm the findings. * * * 

"One thing seems to be certain : Excessive comic-book reading can be a symp- 
tom of maladjustment but it is rarely, if ever, its cause. For example, a habitual 
young thief has been found to be an ardent comic-book reader. Has this read- 
ing caused him to become a thief? Scarcely. We feel safe to say that his 
reading is a symptom of a long-standing personality problem but not the cause 
of his delinquency. TTiis is true just as we know now that alcoholism is a symp- 
tom of an emotional disturbance but-not its cause." 


"We must attack delinquency and emotional disturbances at their roots. Yet 
we cannot overlook the fact that occasionally comics may be the vehicles of mal- 
adjustment. We can change the character of many comic books in a whole- 
some fashion ; at the same time we do not have to remove from the books much 
■that makes them attractive to our youth." 


"Many comic-book stories, too, contain an extremely harsh and punitive view 
with respect to their villains. * * * Frequently no motives for their acts are 
given but the basest and rudest ones. Stories of this kind do not frighten a 
iwtential delinquent. However, they can unnecessarily increase the anxiety of 
young people who are worried about their minor misdeeds. Moreover, such 
stories tend to blunt the sense of justice and the spirit of forgiveness, and thus 
they play the game of authoritarian philosophers." 


"Comics have many faults but their damaging influence has been overrated. 
Official prohibition will not solve the problem because legislation would ba vir- 
tually unenforceable. It would encourage illegal distribution and put a pre- 
mium on reading the least desirable strips just because they are 'forbidden 
fruit.' Neither will censorship improve the state of affairs, quite apart from 
the undesirability of all legal intervention in the field of literature. Only 
public pressure on comic-book publishers and editors will bring about a change 
for the better. Parents, teachers, ministers, child-welfare workers, and psy- 
chologists could successfully exert this pressure." 

N. E. A. Research Bulletin. Schools help prevent delinquency (Wash.) v. 31, 

Oct. 1953. p. 107-108. 

"From time to time crime depicted in comic books as well as on radio and 
television programs has been charged with directly contributing to juvenile 
delinquency. Conclusive evidence on the subject is not available. Reputable 
authorities are lined up on both sides of the question. 

"The number of comic books in circulation in recent years has skyrocketed. 
As compared with about 10 million copies a month in the last 3 prewar years, 
the 1947 rate was 60 million copies a month. An estimated 40 percent of the 
purchasers are young folks between the ages of S and 18. No estimate is readily 
available of the number of comic books concerned with sadistic crime and 
horror stories. 

"Other mass mediums of communication also ofi'er a strong diet of violence. 
On the four major radio networks, programs that embodied violence or threat 
■of violence were transmitted for a total or more than 85 separate time periods 
in 1 week (1950). Television has a similar record. On 7 stations in the New 


York area the listener had the pick of more than 75 periods a week when a 
taste of life outside the law could be had. 

No acceptable evidence to date has shown these factors to have a significant 
relation to delinquent behavior. To be sure, in isolated instances judges have 
reported commissions of youth where comic books have been named as the source 
of the idea. But upon further investigation such youngsters were found to 
need help beside and beyond scrutiny of their reading and listening habits. 

"The foregoing statements do not condone the cultivation of low tastes nor 
condemn the legitimate realization that some persons gain from an occasional 
detective story. Regardless of such considerations, the development of good 
communication tastes is an educational goal that can stand on its own merits." 

Wektham, Frederic. What parents don't know about comic books. Ladies 
home journal (Philadelphia) Nov. 1953. 

(Dr. Wertham is a psychiatrist and in this article refers to his research 
work at the Lafargue Psychiatric Clinic in New York City and the Queens 
Mental Hygiene Clinic.) 
In this article the author presents vivid illustrations from many crime comic 
books being read by children and adults. He contends that : 

"Juvenile delinquency is not just a prank, nor an emotional illness. The mod- 
ern and more serious forms of delinquency involve knowledge of techniques. 
By teaching the technique, comic books also teach the content." 

»: il: 4: * It * * 

"What is the relationship of crime-comic books to juvenile delinquency? If 
they would prevent juvenile delinquency there would be very little of it left. 
And if they were the outlet for children's primitive aggressions, this would be a 
generation of very subdued and controlled children. After all, at times the 
output of comic books has reached 950 million a year, most of them dealing with 
crime. The whole publicity-stunt claim that crime comics prevent juvenile 
delinquency is a hoax. I have not seen a single crime-comic book that would 
have any such effect. Nor have I ever seen a child or young adult who felt 
that he had been prevented from anything wrong by a comic book * * * 

"The role of comic books in delinquency is not the whole nor by any means the 
worst harm they do to children. It is just one part of it. Many children who 
never become delinquent or conspicuously disturbed have been adversely affected 
by them. 

"My investigations and those of my associates have led us, very unexpectedly 
at first, but conclusively as the studies went on, to the conclusion that crime 
comics are an important contributing factor to present-day juvenile delinquency. 
Not only are crime comics a contributing factor to many delinquent acts, but the 
type of juvenile delinquency of our time cannot be understood unless you know 
what has been put into the minds of these children. It certainly is not the only 
factor, nor in many cases is it even the most important one ; but there can be no 
doubt that it is the most unnecessary and least excusable one." 

Dr. Wertham also discusses the elusiveness of some comic-book publishers 
who go out of business under one name and reappear as new publishing firms. 
He says, "This is why I have called crime-comic books 'hit-and-run publications.' " 

"Crime comics create a mental atmosphere of deceit, trickery, and cruelty. 
Many of the children I have studied have come to grief over it. How best to 
summarize the attitudes most widely played up in crime comics? One might 
list them in some such way as this : assertiveness, defiance, hostility, desire to 
destroy or hurt, search for risk and excitement, aggressiveness, destructiveness, 
sadism, suspiciousness, adventurousness, nonsubmission to authority. Anybody 
could make up such a list by going over a thousand comic books. Actually, 
though, this is a literal summary of the traits of typical delinquents found by 
the famous criminologists Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck in a study of 500 delin- 
quents when compared with .500 nondelinquents. In other words, the very traits 
that we officially wish to avoid we unofficially inculcate." 


"Legal control of comic books for children is necessary not so much on account 
of the question of sex, although their sexual abnormality is bad enough, but on 
account of their glorification of violence and crime. In my attempts to formulate 
the principles of a crime-comic-book law I realized that it is necessary to intro- 
duce more public-health thinking for the protection of children's mental 
health. * * * 

"Laws in the service of public health do not necessarily deal with criminal 
intent. They cope with what the lawyers call public-welfare offenses dealing 


-with food, drugs, and sanitation. What I wanted to accomplish was to add 
mental health to these categories." 

« * * « * * * 

"I have seen many juvenile delinquents who were predisposed to achieving 
good things in life and were deflected from their course by the social environment 
of which comic books are a part. We would not by law permit people to sell bad 
candy with poisonous ingredients because the manufacturer guarantees that it 
will not hurt children with strong stomachs and will sicken only those children 
who are inclined to have stomach upsets in the first place. In public health we 
also have little sympathy with the claim that we don't have to prevent illness 
because if we rule out one factor people would get sick sooner or later anyhow, 
if not with this disease, then with something else. Yet that is how the comic- 
book industry reasons." 
Solomon, Ben. Why we have not solved the delinquency problem. Federal 

probation (Washington) v. 27, Dec. 1953: 11-19. 

(Mr. Solomon is editor of Youth Leaders Digest, Putnam Valley, N. Y.) 

This writer contends that the only way to solve the delinquency problem 
among youngsters is through prevention. He also holds that there are nine 
"fallacies" which are generally believed by persons who are concerned over the 

He has this to say about fallacy No. 2 : 

"Comics create crime. It is common practice to blame the comics, TV, the 
radio, and movies for much of our delinquency. It is pointed out that some 
youngsters are highly 'suggestible' and that through these media they might learn 
the methods of crime and how to skillfully avoid detection. Maybe so, but I'd 
like to point out that all children listen to the radio, see TV, and the movies, and 
read the comics, and that 99 percent of them don't get into any kind of trouble. 
And it might further be pointed out that we've had lots of delinquency long 
before these things came into being." 

Mr, Clendenen. I also have a compendium of the Journal of Edu- 
cational Sociology which shows the result of comics on delinquency 
by Dr. Thrasher, who is a noted criminologist connected with the 
University of Chicago. 

The Chairman. Without objection, that will be made a part of the 
record. Let that be exhibit No. 3. 

(The article referred to was maiked "Exhibit No. 3," and reads as 

Exhibit No. 3 

The Comics and Delinquency : Cause or Scapegoat 

Frederic M. Thrasher 

Expert students of mankind have always tried to explain human behavior in 
terms of their own specialities. This is particularly true in the field of adult and 
juvenile delinquency, where anthropologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and 
sociologists have been guilty of a long series of erroneous attempts to attribute 
crime and delinquency to some one human trait or environmental condition. 
These monistic theories of delinquency causation illustrate a particularistic fal- 
lacy which stems from professional bias or a lack of scientific logic and research, 
or both. 

Most recent error of this type is that if psychiatrist Fredric Wertham who claims 
in effect that the comics are an important factor in causing juvenile delinquency.^ 
This extreme position which is not substantiated by any valid research, is not only 
contrary to considerable current psychiatric thinking, but also disregards tested 
research procedures which have discredited numerous previous monistic theories 
of delinquency causation. Wertham's dark picture of the influence of comics 

1 Wertham, who is a prominent New York psychiatrist, has stated his position on the 
comics in the following: articles : The Comics — Very Funny, Saturday Review of Litera- 
ture, May 29, 1948 ; What Your Children Think of You, This Week, Oct. 10, 1948 ; Are 
Comic Books Harmful to Children?, Friends Intelligencer, July 10, 1948; the Betrayal of 
Childhood : Comic Books, Proceedings of the Annual Conference of Correction, American 
Prison Association, 1948; the Psvchopatholoav of Comic Books (a symposium), American 
Journal of Psychotherapy, July 1948; and What Are Comic Books? (a study course for 
parents). National Parent Teacher Magazine, March 1949. 


is more forensic than it is scientific and illustrates a dangerous habit of pro- 
jecting our social frustrations upon some si)eciflc trait of our culture, which 
becomes a sort of "whipping boy" for our failure to control the whole gamut 
of social breakdown.^ 

One of the earliest of these monistic errors was that of Lombroso and his. 
followers of the so-called Italian School of Criminology,^ who asserted there was 
a born criminal type with certain "stigmata of degeneracy" which enabled the- 
criminal to be distinguished from normal people. These included such character- 
istics as a cleft palate, a low retreating forehead, a peculiarly shaped head, nose, 
or jaw, large protruding ears, low sensitivity to pain, lack of beard in males, 
obtuseness of the senses, etc. These "criminal traits" were explained as due to 
a reversion to a hypothetical "savage" (atavism), or to physical and nervous 
deterioration. Accompanying the physical divergencies in some unexplained 
manner always went a predisposition to delinquency. Exponents of tliis theory 
in its extreme form have even claimed that different types of criminals exhibit 
different sets of physical anomalies. 

More rigorous investigators shortly discredited this naive theory. One of these 
was England's distinguished Cliarles Goring. He rejected Lombroso's conclusion 
because it was based upon an inadequate sample of the criminal population, 
chiefly the inmates of an institution for the criminally insane. As Von Hentig 
succinctly points out, only "minute sections of crime are found in court or in 
prison, a certain proportion in institutions for the criminally insane. Crime's 
most numerous and dangerous representatives are never seen by a judge, a warden, 
or a psychiatrist." * No valid conclusion concerning delinquents and criminals 
as a whole can be drawn from the small proportion of their number appearing in 
clinics or found in institutions. 

Goring rejected Lombroso's theory further, and more importantly, because it 
ignored the possibility that the traits to which delinquent and criminal behavior 
were attributed might be as prevalent among law-abiding citizens. Goring was- 
an exponent of the elementary scientific technique which insists on the use of a 
control group, a simple yet essential statistical maneuver designed to protect the 
scholar and the public against fallacious conclusions about human behavior. The 
use of the control group as applied to the study of the causation of delinquency 
simply means that the investigator must make sure the trait or condition to 
fvhich he ascribes delinquency is not as prevalent among nondelinquents as 
among delinquents. 

When Goring studied not merely the inmates of prisons, but a representative 
sampling of the unincarcerated population, he found "stigmata" to occur no 
more frequently among prisoners than among people at large.^ Lombroso'f* 
theory was knocked into a cocked hat. 

Students of delinquent and criminal behavior were slow, however, to heed the 
lesson implicit in the collapse of Lombroso's theory. Continuing to seek a simpla 
monistic explanation of antisocial behavior, repeating Lombroso's errors of inade- 
quate sampling and lack of control, they have attributed the bulk of delinquency 
to mental deficiency, to focal infections, to lesions of the nervous system, to 
psychopathic personality, to poverty, to broken homes, to one after another of 
the characteristics of the delinquent or his environment. 

More rigorous sampling and control have forced the abandonment of these 
one-sided explanations. The assertion of Tredgold and Goddard," for example, 
that mental deficiency is the major cause of antisocial behavior was based on 
institutional samples of the delinquent population. It should be reiterated that 
such samples are highly selective, since more intelligent criminals are less 
frequently found in institutions or other groups available for testing. Indeed 
adequately controlled studies, such as those of Carl Murchison,' E. A. Doll * and 

2 Cf. Katherine Clifford, Common Sense About Comics, Parents Magazine, October 1948. 

' Lombroso first stated liis theory in a brochure in 1876 and this was expanded later 
into three volumes. See Cesare Lombroso, Crime: Its Causes and Remedies. Translated 
by H. P. Horton. Boston : Little, Brown, 1918. 

* Hans Von Hentijr, Crime : Causes and Conditions. New York : McGraw Hill, 1947. 

^Charles Goring, the English Convict. London : Stationery Office, 1913. 

« A. F. Tredgold, Mental Deficiency, New York : William Wood, 1914 ; and Henry H. 
Goddard, Feeblemindedness : Its Causes and Consequences. New York : Macmillan, 1914. 

' American White Criminal Intelligence, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 
August and November 1924. 

8 The Comparative Intelligence of Prisoners, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 
August 1920. 


Simon H. Tiilchin ' have conclusively shown that Iovf intelligence of itself is 
not an important factor in producing delinquency. 

Sociological studies have shown marked correlations between poverty and de- 
linquency. But again the sample is selective, biased by the fact that official 
statistics fail to record the large number of delinquencies committed in more 
prosperous sections of the community ; and again one is given pause by the 
necessity of accounting for the large numbers of children in the most dire 
economic need who do not become delinquent. As for broken homes, the studies 
of Slawson ^" in New York, and of Shaw and McKay " in Chicago, have shown 
that the broken home in itself cannot be considered a very significant factor in 
explaining delinquency. 

More recently it has been asserted that motion pictures are a major cause of 
delinquency. The controversy over the truth of this assertion closely parallels 
the present controversy over the role of comic books in the causation of anti- 
social behavior. The Motion Picture Research Council, with the aid of a research 
grant from the Payne P^'und, and in cooperation with a number of universities, 
undertook a series of objective studies of the question. ^^ 

The most conclusive of these studies as it bears upon the relationship of the 
motion picture to the causation of delinquency, was conducted at New York 
University by Paul G. Cressey." Cressey's findings, based upon thousands of 
observations under controlled conditions, showed that the movies did not have 
any significant effect in producing delinquency in the crime-breeding area in 
which the study was made. Cressey readily admits that boys and young men, 
when suitably predisposed, sometimes have utilized techniques of crime seen in 
the movies, have used gangster films to stimulate susceptible ones toward crime, 
and on occasion in their own criminal actions have idealized themselves imagi- 
natively as possessing as attractive a personality, or as engaging in as romantic 
activities as gangster screen heroes." Cressey is careful to follow this statement, 
however, with the explanation that he does not mean that movies have been shown 
to be a "cause" of crime, that he does not mean that "good" boys are enticed into 
crime by gangster films, that he merely means what he has said that boys and 
young men responsive to crime portrayals have been found on occasion to use ideas 
and techniques seen at the movies. This type of analytical thinking is largely 
absent from the findings of such critics of the comics as Fredric Wertham. 

Furthermore Cressey found that urban patterns of vice, gambling, racketeering, 
and gangsterism, including large components of violence, were so familiar to 
the children of this district that movies seemed rather tame by comparison. That 
this section of New York is typical of the thousands of other delinquency areas 
in American cities cannot be doubted.^^ It is from these areas that the large 
proportion of official juvenile delinquents fome and there is no reason to doubt 
that the role of the motion picture in producing delinquency is any greater in 
these areas in other American cities than it was found to be in New York. 

The behavior scientist has learned that the causes of antisocial behavior — like 
the causes of all behavior — are complex. Delinquent and criminal careers can be 
understood only in terms of the interaction of many factors. Evaluation of their 
relative influence demands research based upon the most rigorous sampling and 
control, and requires the utmost objectivity in the interpretation of the data the 
research yields. 

9 Simon H. Tulchin, Intelligence and Crime. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 

1" John Slawson, the Delinquent Boy. Boston : Badger, 1926. 

« Clifford K. Shaw and Henry D. McKay, Social Factors in Juvenile Delinquency. Wash- 
ington : Government Printing Office, 1931, pp. 261-284. 

^- For a history of this controversy, the results of the Pavne Fund Studies, and a critical 
evaluation of them, see : Henry James Forman, Our Movie Made Children, New York, 
Macmillan, 19.33 ; Martin Quigley, Decency in Motion Pictures, New York, Macmillan, 1935 ; 
Frederic M. Thrasher, Education Versus Censorship, Journal of Educational Sociology, 
January 1940 : W. W. Charters, Motion Pictures and Youth : A Summary, New York, 
Macmillan, 1933 ; Mortimer J. Adler, Art and Priidence, New York, Longman's Greene, 

" Paul G. Cressey, The Role of the Motion Picture in an Interstitial Area. (Unpub- 
lished manuscript on deposit in the New York University library. ) 

1^ Paul G. Cressey, The Motion Picture Experience as Modified by Social Background 
and Personality, American Sociological Review, August 1938, p. 517. 

^^ See Clifford R. Shaw and Henry D. McKay, Report on Social Factors in Juvenile 
Delinquency, National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement (No. 13, vol. II), 

Washington : Government Printing Office ; , Delinquency Areas. Chicago : University 

of Chicago Press, 1929 ; and , Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas, Chicago ; Uni- 
versity of Chicago Press, 1942. 


Let us now turn to researches dealing with the influence of comics. After 
surveying the literature we are forced to conclude such researches do not exist." 
The current alarm over the evil effects of comic books rests upon nothing more 
substantial than the opinion and conjecture of a number of psychiatrists, lawyers 
and judges. True, there is a large broadside of criticism from parents who resent 
the comics in one way or another or whose adult tastes are offended by comics 
stories and the ways in which they are presented. These are the same types of 
parents who were once offended by the dime novel, and later by the movies and 
the radio. Each of these scapegoats for parental and community failures to 
educate and socialize children has in turn given way to another as reformers 
have had their interest diverted to new fields in the face of facts that could not 
be gainsaid. 

As an example, let us examine the position of the leading crusader against the 
comics, New York's psychiatrist Fredric Wertham." Wertham's attitude and 
arguments in condemning the comics are very similar to those of the earlier 
critics of the movies. Reduced to their simplest terms, these arguments are 
that since the movies and comics are enjoyed by a very large number of chil- 
dren, and since a large component of their movie and comics diet is made up of 
crime, violence, horror, and sex, the children who see the movies and read the 
comics are necessarily stimulated to the performance of delinquent acts, cruelty, 
violence, and undesirable sex behavior. This of course is the same type of argu- 
ment that has been one of the major fallacies of all our monistic errors in 
attempting to explain crime and delinquency in the past. 

Wertham's reasoning is a bit more complicated and pretentious. His dis- 
claims (he belief that delinquency can have a single cause and claims to adhere 
to the concept of multiple and complex causation of delinquent behavior. But in 
effect his arguments do attribute a large portion of juvenile offenses to the 
comics. More pointedly he maintains that the comics in a complex maze of other 
factors are frequently the precipitating cause of delinquency. 

We may criticize Wertham's conclusions on many grounds, but the major 
weakness of his position is that it is not supported by research data. His find- 
ings presented for the first time in Collier's magazine '* are said to be the result 
of 2 years' study conducted by him and 11 other psychiatrists and social workers 
at the Lafargue Clinic in New York's Negro Harlem. In this article the claim 
is made that numerous children both delinquent and nondelinquent, rich and 
poor, were studied and that the results of these studies led to the major conclu- 
sion that the effect of comic books is "definitely and completely harmful." 

That Wertham's approach to his problem is forensic rather than scientific is 
illustrated by the way in which his findings are presented in the Collier's article. 
Countering his claim that the effect of -comics is definitely and completely harm- 
ful are statements in this article that comics do not automatically cause de- 
linquency in every reader, that comic books alone cannot cause a child to be- 
come delinquent, that there are books of well-known comics which "make life 
better by making it merrier" and others "which make it clear even to the dullest 
mind, that crime never pays," and that there are "seemingly harmless comic 
books," but "nobody knows with any degree of exactness what their percentage 

A further illustration of this forensic technique is the way in which he intro- 
duces extraneous facts and statements which by implication he links with his 
thesis that the comics are a major factor in causing delinquency and emotional 
disturbance in children. An example is New York's Deputy Police Commissioner 
Nolan's statement that "the antisocial acts of the juvenile delinquents of today 
are in many instances more serious and even of a more violent nature than 
those committed by youth in the past." Even if this statement could be proved, 
there is not the slightest evidence, except Wertham's unsupported opinion, that 
the increase is due to the reading of comic books. Wertham then cites a series 
of sensational child crimes headlined in the press (not his own cases), which 
he imputes to the comics without any evidence at all that the juvenile offenders 

i« There is the possible exception of the study of Katherine M. Wolfe and Marjorie Fiske 
at Columbia University. The Children Talk About Comics, published by Paul F. Lazars- 
feld and Frank Stanton, Communications Research, 1948-49, New York: Harper, 1949. 
This study, which was based on a small number of cases, was inconclusive. ^ , ^ „ 

17 Wertham's position was stated in some detail In an article by Judith Crist, Horror in 
the Nursery, Collier's, March 27, 1948. See also material by Wertham cited earlier m 
this article. 

18 Loc. cit., pp. 22, 23, 95-97. 


involved ever read or were interested in comic books. A final example of the 
improper use of extraneous material is the statement in the Collier's article that 
"Children's Court records show that delinquent youngsters ai-e almost 5 years 
retarded in reading ability," and Wertham is quoted as saying that "children 
who don't read well tend to delinquency." These statements are unsupported, 
but even if true, there is not a scintilla of evidence that the reading retardation 
or disability of delinquents is due to reading comics. It is quite likely that the 
percentage of reading disability among delinquents was equally high or higher 
before the comic book was invented. As a matter of fact there are in this article 
no data which could be accepted by any person trained in research without doc- 

Wertham asserts that the content of the comics is almost universally one of 
crime, violence, horror, "emphasis of sexual characteristics" which "can lead 
to erotic fixations of all kinds," and "sadistic-masochistic mixture of pleasure and 
violence." Of the millions of comic books which Wertham claims deal with crime 
and brutality, he is content to rest his case on the selection of a few extreme 
and offensive examples which he makes no attempt to prove are typical. No 
systematic inventory of comic book content is presented, such as that compiled by 
Edgar Dale for the movies in 1935." Without such an inventory these conjectures 
are prejudiced and worthless 

Wertham's major claims rest only on a few selected and extreme cases of 
children's deviate behavior where it is said the comics have played an important 
role in producing delinquency. Although Wertham has claimed in his various 
writing that he and his associates have studied thousands of children, normal 
and deviate, rich and poor, gifted and mediocre, he presents no statistical sum- 
mary of his investigations. He makes no attempt to substantiate that his illustra- 
tive cases are in any way typical of all delinquents who read comics, or that the 
delinquents who do not read the comics do not commit similar types of offenses. 
He claims to use control groups (nondelinquents) but he does not describe these 
controls, how they were set up, how they were equated with his experimental 
groups (delinquents) to assure that the difference in incidence of comic-book 
reading, if any, was due to anything more than a selective process brought about 
by the particular area in which he was working. 

The way in which Wertham and his associates studied his cases is also open 
to question. The development of case studies as scientific data is a highly tech- 
nical procedure and is based on long experience among social scientists in anthro- 
pology, psychology, and sociology.-" An adequate case study, which involves 
much more than a few interviews, gives a complete perspective of the subject's 
biological, psychological, and social development, for only in this manner can a 
single factor such as comic-book reading be put in its proper place in the inter- 
acting complex of behavior-determining factors." On the basis of the materials 
presented by Wertham with reference to children's experience with the comics, 
it is doubtful if he has met the requirements of scientific case study or the criteria 
for handling life history materials. He does not describe his techniques or show 
how they were set up so as to safeguard his findings against invalid conclusions. 

Were the subjects he interviewed studied with the same meticulous cai-e em- 
ployed by a Healy or a Shaw? Did he get complete data on them? Were the 
circumstances surrounding the interviews such that the subjects gave honest 
answers to the questions asked by Wertham and his associates? Were safe- 
guards set up to control individual differences in the interview techniques of 
the eleven different investigators? Even if it is assumed that such subjects will 
or can give a correct picture of the role of the comics in their lives, how are we 

M Edgar Dale. The Content of Motion Pictures, New York: Macmillan, 1035. 

^ See Paul Horst et al., The Prediction of Personal Adjustment. New York : Social 
Science Research Council, 1941, especially The Prediction of Individual Behavior From 
Case Studies, pp. 183-240; Gordon W. Allport, The Use of Personal Documents in Psycho- 
logical Science, New York: Social Science Research Council, 1042; and Louis Gott.schalk, 
Clyde Kluckholm and Robert Angell, The Use of Personal Documents in History, Anthro- 
poloiry and Sociology. New York : Social Science Research Council. 1045. 

" Examples of case studies are to be found In the earlier studies of William Healy and 
Augusta F. Bronner in Case Studies, Series I, Nos. 1-20, Boston ; Judge Baker Foundation, 
1923, and in the more complete studies of Clifford R. Shaw et al.. The Jackroller, The 
Natural History of a Delinquent Career, and Brothers in Crime. Chicago : University of 
Chicago, 1030, 1931, and 193S. 

Frederic M. Thrasher is professor of education at New York University, member of the 
Attorney General's Conference on Juvenile Delinquency, former secretary of the Society 
for the Prevention of Crime, on the board of directors of the National Board of Review, 
and author of The Gang. 

49632—54 3 


to be sure that the interviewers did not ask leading questions and stimulate the 
responses of the subjects to reply along a preordained line of thinking or imagin- 
ing? Unless and until Wertham's methods of investigation are described, and 
demonstrated to be valid and reliable, the scientific worker in this field can 
place no credence in his results. 

In conclusion, it maj' be said that no acceptable evidence has been produced 
by Wertham or anyone else for the conclusion that the reading of comic maga- 
zines has, or has not a significant relation to delinquent behavior. Even the 
editors of Collier's in which Wertham's results were first presented are doubtful 
of his conclusions, as is indicated by a later editorial appearing in that magazine 
in which they say : 

"Juvenile delinquency is the product of pent-up frustrations, stoi'od up resent- 
ments and bottled up fears. It is not the product of cartoons or (laptions. But 
the comics are a handy, obvious uncomplicated scapegoat. If the adults who 
crusade against them would only get as steamed up over such basic causes of 
delinquency as parental ignorance, indifference and cruelty, they might discover 
that the comics are no more a menace than Treasure Island or Jack the Giant 
Killpv " " 

The danger inherent in the present controversy, in which forensic argument 
replaces research, is that having set up a satisfactory whii)ping boy in comic 
magazines, we fail to face and accept our responsibility as parents and as citi- 
zens for providing our children with more healthful family and community living, 
a more constructive developmental experience. 

Mr. Clendenen, I also have three different reports from the New 
York State Joint Legislative Committee to study comics. These con- 
tain not only their own recommendations, but also contain quotations 
from a large number of experts whom that committee consulted and 
secured opinions from. 

The Chairman. Without objection, that will be made a part of the 
subcommittee's files. Let it be exhibits Nos. 4a, 4b, and 4c. 

(The three reports were marked "exhibits Nos. 4a, 4b, and 4c," and 
are on file with the subcommittee.) 

Mr. Clendenen. Finally, I have two items here. One is an item 
entitled "Brain Washing: American Style," which was really a joint 
sponsorehip. It was sponsored jointly by a group in West Virginia 
and then a Judge Hollaren, who is president of the Minnesota Juvenile 
Court Judges Association participated in the development of the 

The Chairman. Without objection, that will be made a part of the 
record. Let that be exhibit No. 5. 

(The booklet referred to was marked "exhibit No. 5," and reads as 

Exhibit No. 5 
Bkain Washing: Amejucan Style 

Every parent, every responsible adult, should be shocked by the pi'ediction of 
400,000 juveniles in court as delinquents during 1954. This represents a 33 per- 
cent increase over 1948, just a.s 350,000 in court during last year was 19 percent 
higher than prior years. Delinquency is on the march, ever increa.sing, ever de- 
stroying our youth. 

Crimes previously associated with hardened criminals or the meutally de- 
praved are now committed by children. AVe found boys and girls In gangs, car- 
rying "snap-blades," setting out to inflict sadistic revenge upon fellow girls and 
boys of their community. 

Burglary was common. Mugging a victim for cash was termed a "small-fry"' 
act. Narcotics became the fad along with the moral breakdown which follows 
its use. Nonvirgin clubs sprang up, with boys breaking up fixtures of a drug 
store in Des Moines, Iowa, because the proprietor objected to the open peddling of 
flesh in his place of business. 

" The Old Folks Take It Harder Than Junior, Collier's, July 9, 1949. 


In the Twin Cities wo had the senseless Ivilling of a man for $10.35 by youths. 
In MichiKan, we were shocked by the brutal murder of a nurue by bjys. They 
were just average teen-agers of the neighborhood. too numerous to mention proclaim the moral breakdown of our youth, 
disintegration of the family, and the lack of concern for the general welfare of 

Why are 400,000 delinquents slated for 19.54? It cannot be attributed to an 
overnight personality change. It is not a population factor alone. The war 
upset has leveled off greatly. Then why these dreadful crimes by teen-agers in 
such large numbers V 

Narcotic peddling is one cause, but it is not universal. 

There is a destructive factor that is universal. It is the arrogant, defiant 
publishing and distribution of thousands upon thousands of filth-drenched pocket- 
books and magazines of the girlie-gag variety. 

This i)rinted poison drips with astounding ads, sadistic rape-murder stories 
which mask as true reporting. These perverted magazines contain instructions 
in crime, narcotic uses, and sex perversions, and moral degradation. 

This evil literature floods each community by the trucldoad. It is produced 
in corruption as maggots are produced and made available to your children. 

Tliis brazen effrontery to the decency of our communities was liighlighted by 
J. Edgar Hoover in his letter of April 8, 10.52: "I am indeed gratified to learn 
of the steps being taken by the Minnesota Juvenile Court Judges Association to- 
ward preventing the sale and distribution of obscene literature in Minnesota. I 
have been most vigorously opposed to such materials, for I sincerely believe that 
its availability to youth is one of the principal causes of delinquency." 


To act effectively, parents must first recognize and understand the situation. 
Many magazines have endeavored to enlighten us. 

In the November lO."")! issue of The Woman's Home Companion is an article 
entitled "The Smut Peddler Is After Your Child." The Christian Herald, May 
1952, carried an article, entitled "Smut on the Newsstands." 

In October 1952 Reader's Digest gave results of the national survey of smut as 
conducted and reported by Margaret Culkin Banning. This information was 
presented to the Gathings House Committee to Investigate Indecent Publications. 

The November, 1953, issue of Ladies Home Journal featured "What Parents 
Don't Know About Comics." Reprints of this article, available at 2.y-> cents each, 
are a must for every PTA. Address Mrs. Betty Kidd, Ladies Home Journal, Phila- 
delphia 5, Pa. 


This alarm has awakened a few parents but not nearly enough of them. The 
invasion has neither ceased or diminished. Rather it has flourished under the 
unscrupulous eyes of certain factions. 

So-called "liberal, advanced thinkers" support and encourage "expression of 
thought" on the part of racketeers of rot. It is hard to know what satisfaction 
they find in exposing millions of children to the moral poison which is the 
formula of a great many comics. 


Many parents will ask why this distribution of obscene publications goes un- 
checked. The answer to that question is a simple and ancient one. Money ! 
Big money in this case. 

It is a multi-million dollar racket and the kind that has a way of fighting. It 
can buy and control and hire those who will cry "censorship" — but never at any 
time show concern over what is happening to youth. 

The racket pokes fun at censoi-s, those who have a care for youth. It is an old 
trick, which works. Encouraged by such hirelings, this giant corrupter of youth 
exerts pressure in every village, town and city. 

This new 1954-model racket has clever ways and means also of avoiding the 
law. It hauls its "literature" into your community in privately owned trucks 
to avoid postal inspection. 

Nor can the FBI interfere becaiise such trucks are not common carriers for 
hire and subject to interstate commerce rules. The giant works outside the law 
yet he begs for protection under the first amendment. 


Sales of obscenity increased from 62 million units in 1946 to 712 million units 
in 1952. Roughly, an increase of 1,000 percent in sales. Where is our civic 

How can you be sure that one of your children vpill not be numbered among the 
400,000 delinquents during 1954? What do parents say when they are suddenly 
summoned into court? "I can't believe it's my Jimmy !" is the familiar expression 
which a judge hears. But, why not Jimmy? What makes him immune to the 
influence of the peddlers of smut and indecent publications which can be bought 
as easily as candy in dozens of places? 


A. Every State should have a law hitting the distribution of indecent publica- 
tions. The very act of bringing such printed matter into a community should be 
the principal or primary crime. 

Any sale by a retailer should automatically involve the distributor who trucked 
that article into the community for sales purposes. These distributors are the 
real criminals because they deliberately plan the whole overt act. 

Your local retailer does not order any of the materials trucked to him by these 
distributors. The truckers bring the bundles twice weekly and the material in 
those bundles is selected by the distributors. 

You must understand that the distributors are actually happy when the local 
druggist is arrested for sale of such printed poison. The result means publicity 
for the distributor's smut. 

Meanwhile the distributor is out of the county's jurisdiction and sits back and 
laughs at the local fight which is putting cash in his pocket. He will hire lawyers 
to yell "censorship," and keep the fight alive. 

B. There should be a local board set up by ordinance which will check the ma- 
terials coming into a community. Usually, the obviously dirty publications are 
kept out if such a board exists. 


In the city of Detroit the police department operates with such a board and does 
a grand job of checking before materials get out to the stands. In cases of dis- 
pute between the board and the distributor, a review of the material is given to 
the prosecuting attorney along with reasons why the Board feels it is against 
the law and should be prosecuted. 

The board is not the final authority and it should not be. The courts must 
be the last authority. But an amazing amount of rot can be stopped in this 
first instance by the screening board. 

The State of Michigan has an average good law. But in its application, no 
law any better than the courage of the parents and the civic authority of a 
given community. 

Thomas Jefferson was so right when he wrote in 1787 : "The people are the 
only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." 

Any preventive measure will bring a cry of "censorship" from the racketeers. 
However, let's examine the real situation. First and foremost, the stuff is not 
ordered. It is selected by the publishers and distributors for its sexy content 
and mockery of morals and is presented on these "merits." These are the two 
culprits who decide what your children are to read. 

Isn't it more reasonable that a cross section of substantial citizens decide what 
reading matter should be admitted to a community? 

Isn't it government in the very nature of our Founding Fathers for parents 
to act as Minute Men and women ; isn't it proper for them to heed the alarm and 
detect and prevent a sneak attack on their children? Should they not seek its 
prosecution by lawful authorities? Or better still, should they not seek coopera- 
tion from conscientious retailers? Such dealers want to know if I'eading matter 
on their stand is harmful to youth. 

This parents' board is not, however, to have the final authority ; rather it is 
to act as a bulwark for the protection of the children of the community. But 
parents can aid the prosecuting attorney, they can be the first line of vigilance 
to detect evil literature coming into the village or city and name the offending 

The law and the courts are the final authority. But to ask one court to act 
on scores of obscene publications is like asking the village plumber to stop a 
Mississippi flood. This is why there is need for a community board. 



While we are speaking of courts, let it be said on the side of truth that the 
decision of one judge as to whether or not a book is obscene is purely a i)ersonal 
standard of that judge. It is not a case law decision. It is the same thing as 
asking a judge "what is blue" and another "what is red." 

True, there are some decisions on the definition of words like obscene or lewd 
but the application to a publication in question is the personal reaction of the 
presiding judge. That same judge could very well consider a strii)-tease act 
on the village square a work of art. His decision might be based on "advance- 
ment" over common decency. 

On the other hand, if a chief of police on his own, or a board on its own, 
assumes final authority over a publication, the judge ruling on the case would 
have to state that such assumed authority was unconstitutional; and he would 
have "case law" to back him up. 

The essence of good government is to have the mayor who is invested with 
civic authority appoint a board so that they can assist him in law enforcement. 

Sometimes the opposition forces make a big thing out of a decision by a liberal 
judge. But keep in mind that this judge, either by environment and/or rela- 
tionship and culture, may have been tied to a powerful publisher when pro- 
nouncing certain books an "expression of thought" when they should have been 
labeled "obscene." Don't let anyone tell you that there was any legal magic 

We repeat that it is the avalanche of filth and not simply one book which de- 
mands community action on the part of parents. It is difficult to write a law 
against an evil which, in this case, is an abuse of the noble art of printing. 
But criminal forces are using mass infiltration tactics, and, therefore, it has to 
be met by drastic measures. 


Mathematically there are not enough courts in the world to handle the mass in- 
filtration of 259 million pocket books annually, of the 90 million comics monthly, 
and the innumerable sadistic-girlie magazines of various types. Court action on 
each would result in a ridiculous situation. 

This factor is another reason why parents must act in each community and 
assist their prosecuting oflScers and civic authorities in cleaning up their town 
with the preventive measures previously suggested. 

AVe all hate the taking away of any true inalienable rights of man, but cer- 
tainly this spreading of indecency, of dangerous information, and of criminal 
teachings cannot come under the title of inalienable rights. 

As Thomas Jefferson put it: "Can the liberties of a nation be secure when 
we have removed a conviction that these liberties are a gift of Gnd?" 

By what stretch of the imagination, or of the law, can we contend that publica- 
tions totally repulsive to the idea of God, can be said to be his gift to a free 

If this Nation was founded on the principles of religion and freedom and 
a trust in God, and upon the inalienable rights of man coming from God, under 
His natural law, then that which would destroy God's moral code cannot claim 
protection under those freedoms He ordained for us as a free people. 


The loudest cry of the opposition, and a clever one shouted : "New Law Will 
Take Bible Out Of Home." The papers carried that headline. Some unin- 
formed parents fell for it. The trickery behind that strategy even made the 
house committee of the legislature hesitate. 

But it is not true that the Minnesota Legislature turned down a new law. 
Here are the facts : The proposed law was presented to the senate's general 
legislation committee by Senator B. Grnttum and that committee composed of 
veterans of long service passed the bill from the committee at the first hearing. 

But a companion bill, presented to the house crime prevention committee by 
Representative Gordon Forbes, was held up because about 75 persons, led by 
the American Civil Liberties Union, appeared in opposition. This house com- 
mittee was composed of several freshman legislators, with strong Twin City, 
membership, who fell for the sensational Bible-Shakespeare tactics. By post- 
poning hearings, they pigeonholed the bill. 

Therefore, the Legislature of the State of Minnesota never had a chance to 
vote on the bill. A poll showed that 85 percent of the people of Minnesota 


favored an even stronger bill than the one proposed and letters to that effect 
deluged the legislature. 


The opposition argues heatedly for the "whole content" rule, which asserts 
that a book must be totally obscene in content aud intent before it is stopped. 
The alternate "single passage'' rule maintains a stricter stand. If filthy pas- 
sages are planted even scatter-fashion in the book, a few redeeming chapters do 
not succeed in exempting it from disapproval. 

There is some merit in the "whole content" rule, but it has become the weapon 
and protection of clever publishers. They plant repugnant, "rock-bottom" 
scenes, then whitewash the remaining chapters and proceed to get by on the 
"whole content" rule. 

The same strategy is utilized by the publishers of many comics. They depict, 
portray, and suggest the most sadistic patterns imaginable, insert once "Crime 
does not pay" and thus claim an excuse for their wanton disregard for decency. 

The publication world is well aware that by holding to the "whole content" 
rule and by other clever manipulations, they can render the law useless. Thia 
is why they continue to fight the real teeth found in the "single passage" rule, 
and why they dislike parent boards. 


Somehow, the publication racket has managed to dupe parents as well as 
children. The sales mount at an alarming increase of 1,000 percent between 
1946 and 1951. Comics have soared from 50 to 90 million per month since 
1951. Figures are facts and these facts are staggering. 

Parents are alarmed when presented with the actual printed pulp. They be- 
come outraged and irate upon the realization of their innocent ignorance. They 
desire action but rely necessarily upon the cooperation of all parents. Positive 
and immediate action requires unity. The unified demand for protective legis- 
lation by parents can positively outlaw the rape of the minds and welfare of our 


We judges know that there is no one cause for delinquency. There are sev- 
eral factors which lead a child into delinquency, some predominate more than 
others. We know that there are hidden causes in many cases which are not 
so apparent as a home broken by divorce, for example. 

But let's examine the records and be practical about the matter. You name 
any type of crime which youth committed in 19.53 and you will find appalling 
crimes which were not associated with youth in the past. 

For every one you name and cite the action thereof, a pocket book, crime 
magazine or comic can be produced with blueprints telling the youth just how 
to commit that crime. Details are given in the rotten literature which tell 
youth how to commit sadism, theft, robbery, perversion, and how to operate teen- 
age sex clubs and dope rings. These "blueprints" are available to youth on 

In This Week magazine, 'April 20, 1947, J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI stated. 
"High in the ranks of contributors to juvenile delinquency are the vicious ami 
unscrupulous peddlers, producers and printers of obscene literature. They aro 
as responsible as the sex fiends they incite by their wares. After one brutal rape- 
murder case the killer told police, 'It was them magazines — the ones with sex 
pictures in them'." 

Another victim : "14-year-old Walter was arrested after a woman reported 
that someone was walking on the roof of her house. The youth carried a bottle of 
chloroform, a pad of cotton, a billy club and leather shoelaces in his pockets. He 
openly admitted his intentions to use the chloroform and club for as.sault, com- 
mit the sex act and tie her up with the shoestring. Walter came from a good 
family. Hidden under the mattress of his bed was a bundle of obscene pictiu'es 
and magazines. From them Walter had formulated his vicious plan." 

Again: "Don't the comic books always tell you at the end that you can't win?" 
a police officer asked a 15-year-old gang leader, "Sure," was the answer, "but we 
never read the end — just how." This youthful gang slugged a taxi driver to 


Magazines of this caliber frequently carry innocent "western" titles, or some- 
thing to suggest "Crime does not pay." But the poison is there is spite of the 

In the November 9, 1953, Newsweek, the FBI listed : "Availability of salacious 
literature and entertainment glorifying crime," as factors concerned with the 
terrifying increase in juvenile delinquency for 1953. 

Bear in mind, since Mr. Hoover made his first statement in 1947, the crime pub- 
lications and rot books have increased 1,000 percent. 


Now let's get down to real facts and plow under these "rationalizations" of the 
hired journalists and hybrid educators. 

In 1952, Judge Mulholland of the New York domestic relations court sent cer- 
tain literature to several educators, psychologists and psychiatrists for their 
opinions. (See Gathings Committee Report.) 

The boy involved in this case was sent to Dr. Joseph Manno, psychiatrist in 
charge of King's County Hospital. "I find that the child had read page 26 of 
one book before he committed the crime. It is my opinion that the antisocial act 
was precipitated by the reading of this book. It is obscene, provoking and 
detrimental to the healthy emotional growth of young people. It unwisely 
stimulates and excites the sexual urges of young boys while they are still 
in the state of increased suggestibility. It would be wise if such books were pro- 
hibited by law to minors." 

Dr. Ernest Harms, editor of The Nervous Child stated, "If I had anything 
to say about it, such books would be kept out of juvenile hands." 

Dr. Richard Hoffman of New York stated : "There are some phases of life 
that are not for the youngsters. Exposing juveniles to trashy muck under the 
name of literature, produces the kind of effect in the potential delinquent as to 
light a torch for their lust. For this reason, such books should be condemned." 

Dr. Frederic Wertham, psychiatrist of Queens Hospital, New York, said, 
"From pages 28 to 31 of one book, it described an episode where a group of 
boys pay a girl for having intercourse with them all, and then take the money 
away from her by violence. I have examined a number of boys who did just 
that — and this^book should be a good primer for teaching it to those who haven't 
had the idea yet." 

In answers to the advocators of facts of life. Superintendent of New York 
Schools, Dr. Frank D. Whelan, stated : "Will a step-by-step description of how 
to jostle a young girl in a subway train diminish delinquency, or a detailed 
catalogue of the sex possibilities of a cellar club head youngsters to shun them? 
You don't put out a fire by fanning the flame." 

J. Ritchie Stevenson, New York Vocational School : "The books are obscene 
and serve no good purpose. There is a tendency for the adolescent to imitate 
the characters portrayed in the books. I would never recommend these filthy 
books to anyone. In fact, I feel these books are dangerous in the hands of the 
adolescent boy and girl." 

There is more detailed testimony about the effect of such books ; but the 
direct quotations from cross sections of responsible men should serve to answer 
any fake arguments from the opposition. 


The Gathings Committee was set up by Congress to investigate the vast in- 
filtration of indecent publications on newsstands across the Nation. In that 
report it was brought out that .some 250 million pocket books were sold each 
year and that an estimated 90 million comics per month hit the communities of 
our Nation. 

Added to these are the unestimated number of girlie, murder, and smut, variety 
of which there is no accurate account. 

The report also made it clear that a few decent-minded men of the distribu- 
tion business were deeply concerned. For example, Samuel Elack, vice president 
of the Atlantic Coast Distributors, in a speech at their convention April 1952, 
in Florida, said : "Frankly, there is no real for much of the material we 
distribute. It is imperative that we free ourselves without delay. One won- 
ders what manner of diseased mind can contrive such tripe. Many of the maga- 
zines, in addition, carry advertisements, of a nature so objectionable and so 
personal that we should not, under any circumstances, want our children to be 
exposed to it." 


Mr. O'Connor of the Bantam Books, Inc., was pinned down to this state- 
ment: "As a personal opinion, I will say I wouldn't want to give them (the 
pocket books named ) to an adolescent. No, I wouldn't give them to my daughter, 
for example." 

Mr. David Cook of the Cook Publishing Co. said in 1951 that he personally 
knew of over 50 million comics per month sold. He stated : "Since most chil- 
dren have difficulty in their earlier years, the visual presentation makes it easy 
for them to understand what is going on. To my mind, the potential damage 
to impressionable young minds done by this kind of thing is shocking. This 
naked appeal to sadism, horror and cruelty does a harm which is incalculable." 

The independent agency which tabulates comic book distribution points out 
that in January (1954) there were 412 different comic titles on the stands. 
Since a publisher cannot afford to print less than 300,000 of a title, you can see 
that the monthly distribution is close to 100 million. 

To insure the 68 percent sale which a comics publisher needs to break even, 
covers must be progressively lurid. And since profit depends on sales in excess 
of 68 percent, cover and contents must be tuned to an even lowering degree of 
the depraved taste which so many of these comics develop. 


As funny as any comic is the Report of the Mayor's Committee on Indecent 
Literature of the City of Minneapolis. The report informs us that Minneapolis 
does not have the same low-type publications on its newsstands as are found in 
other cities. And then the report goes on : "There are some bad pocket books 
on the stands, but the Bible is displayed too, and you wouldn't want to prohibit 
the sale of the Bible !" 

It continues : "There are some objectionable comics but comics are such a 
stimulant to reading, we believe the good effect outdoes the bad." 

For a retort to that ridiculous statement, read the article "What Parents 
Don't Know About Comics," in the Ladies Home Journal, November 1953. 

Your attention is drawn to this particular report on Minneapolis because of 
its failure to be true and informative. Such reports are not uncommon. 

Erie Stanley Gardner, the great mystery writer, speaking before the National 
Librarians' Convention at Los Angeles, June 22, 1953, called attention to the 
flood of pornographic literature upon the newsstands. "It must be controlled or 
it will be necessary to resort to legal censorship." Mr. Gardner went on to say : 
"Pornographic literature is pouring from the presses of unscrupulous pub- 
lishers. Young people are developing false ideas of life from the millions of 
copies of smut publications sold at magazine stands. 

"Certain unscrupulous publishers began deliberately to cater to the inflam- 
mable and uninformed sex urges of the adolescent," said Gardner. He added: 
"If libraries were made more attractive to youngsters and teen-agers it woald 
be a constructive force in combating juvenile delinquency." 

George E. Sokolsky, noted columnist, stated : "I must say it would cause 
little damage to our civilization if the pornographic miseries that are being sold 
to our children on newsstands and in candy stores were burned. Also, some 
of the mystery stories which substitute filthy expressions for skillful narrative 
could be burned with little loss to anyone." 

The American Legion at its 1953 St. Louis Convention, condemned the ob- 
scenity sold on newsstands and placed the restriction of such sale as a point in 
its welfare program. 

"We heartily concur with your appraisal of the danger to the morals of our 
youth which exists through the sale of indecent literature," states a letter from 
Legion headquarters at Indianapolis. 

The Legion realizes that the leaders of tomorrow cannot be raised on, nor 
infiltrated with, the pornographic miseries of today if we wish to remain a great 
Nation. Once a culture begins to rot from within, the scavengers gather for 
the spoils. 

As Lincoln put it "America will never be conquered from without. If it 
perishes, it will do so from within." 


It was the American Civil Liberties Union and the Twin City newspapers 
which led the fight against the stronger indecent publications bill as introduced 
into the house and senate committees of the Minnesota Legislature. (Febru- 
ary 1953.) 


History repeated itself in this instance. Many innocent people were duped 
and filled the committee rooms at the house hearings. These no doubt con- 
tributed money as well as time. Recall the many innocents who contributed 
money to the American Civil Liberties Union for the defense of Earl Browder, 
Harry Bridges, and recently the two Rosenbergs. 

Here are some facts : House Report No. 2290, 71st Congress, 3d session, 1931 : 
"The American Civil Liberties Union is closely aflBliated with communistic move- 
ment in the United States and fully 90 percent of its efforts are on behalf of 
Communists who have come in conflict with the law. It claims to stand for 
free speech, free press and free assembly — but it is quite apparent the main 
function is furthering of Communist work." 

Naval Intelligence accuses, 1938: "American Civil Liberties Union — this or- 
ganization is too well known to need description. The larger part of the work 
carried on by it and its various bi-anches does undoubtedly materially aid 
communistic objectives." 

California Legislative Report, 1949: "It is obvious that the main function of 
the American Civil Liberties Union is to protect Communist objectives." 

American Legion Convention, St. Louis, 1953: ''Be it resolved That the House 
Un-American Activities Committee, the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee 
be urged to investigate the activities of the American Civil Liberties Union, 
and if warranted, institute prosecution under the Smith and/or McCarran 

This is the group which professes to be concerned with your liberties ; and 
they, with the Twin City press, shouted: "New Law Will Take Bible Out of 

How long and how often can the American people be duped? Parents, wake 
up! The objective of communism is to despoil your children, to rob them of 
their respect for law and the teachings of morality, to enslave them with sex and 
narcotics. When that happens, the seeds of communism will fall on fertile 


Until the time comes when a suitable law is enacted, parents must act and 
continue to act. Parents can go to their mayor and ask that a parents' com- 
mittee be appointed from a cross section of service and civic clubs to assist the 
county or city or State attorney and the police. Parents can be vigilantes for 
their children and see what muck is coming into the local stands and who sells 
it. A report of their findings can be made to the mayor and prosecuting 

Parents could also without belligerence, point out the objectionable materials 
to the retailers. It is certain many good citizens who would not for the world 
want to injure the youth of a community, have such materials in their stores. 

Retailers do not have time to check and read the products on their stands and 
would welcome any help in cleaning them up. 

When such safeguards are set up there will be no need of censorship. Poison 
bears a skull and crossbones label but wise parents do not depend on this label; 
they put rat poison where their children cannot reach it. 

The time for action is now. Save your child from the "brain washings" dis- 
tributed by the racketeers of rot. 

"The publisher of books and magazines enjoys the protection of our constitu- 
tional guarantee that the freedom to write and publish shall not be curbed. He 
also has the responsibility not to abuse this freedom." — Minneapolis Sunday 
Tribune, February 21, 1954. 

Mr. Clendenen. I also have an item from the Committee on Evalu- 
ation of Comic Books in Cincinnati, Ohio, which contains a rather 
detailed evaluation of comics presently upon their standards, these 
evalutions are related to a certain criteria which they have developed 
in relation to what they believe are the effects of these materials upon 

The Chairman. Without objection, those items will be made a part 
of the record. Let those be "Exhibits Nos. 6a and 6b." 

(The evaluations referred to were marked "Exhibits Nos. 6a and 
6b," and read as follows :) 


Exhibit No. 6A 

PuELisHEKs Whose Comic Books Have Been Evaluated 

June 1953 

The Committee on Evaluation of Comic Books, Box 1486, Cincinnati, Ohio, has 
evaluated 418 comic boolis published by 106 publishers. These books cover a 
period of 3 or 4 months' publication and therefore are a larger number than are 
in publication at any particular time. Since most of them are still in circulation, 
it is deemed wise to include them here for the guidance of those who seek it. 
The committee has graded this literature and placed it in the four levels of (A) 
no objection, (B) some objection, (C) objectionable, and (D) very objectionable. 
Those books rated A and B are considered safe for use by children and young 

pubijsheks, locations of their executive offices, and their publications 

A. "A. Wynn, Inc., 23 West 47th Street, New York, N. Y. ; Glamorous Romances 
(B), Real Love (B), The Hand of Fate (D), Web of Mystery (D). 

Ace Magazines, Inc., 23 West 47th Street, New York, N. Y. ; Complete Love Maga- 
zine (C), Ten-Story Love (B), War Heroes (C), World War III (C). 

Ace Periodicals, Inc., 23 West 47th Street, New York, N. Y. ; Love Experiences (C). 

Allen Hardy Associates, 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. ; Danger (C), War 
Fury (C), Weird Terror (D). 

Animirth Comics, Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N. Y. ; Battlefield (C), Spell- 
bound (D). 

Archie Comic Publications, Inc., 241 Church Street, New York, N. Y. ; Archie 
Comics (A), Jughead Comics, Archie's Pal (A), Wilbur Comics (A). 

Aragon Magazines, Inc., 949 Broadway, New York, N. Y. ; Mister Mystery (D). 

Arnold Publications, Inc., 578 Summer Street, Stamford, Conn.: Marmaduke 
Mouse (A). 

Atlas News Co., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Lovers (B) . 

Avon Periodicals, Inc., 575 Madison Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Buddies in the U. 
S. Army (C), Eerie (D), Fighting Daniel Boone (B), Fighting Under Sea 
Commandos (B), Merry Mouse (A), Night of Mystery (C), Peter Rabbit (A), 
Space Mouse (A), U. S. Tank Commandos (C), Wild Bill Hickock, (C), 
Witchcraft (D) 

Bard Publishing Corp., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Patsy Walker (A) 

B. & M. Distributing Co., 45 West 45th Street, New York, N. Y. : Dizzy Dames (A) , 
Skeleton Hand (C) 

Best Syndicated Features, Inc., 45 West 45th Street, New York, N. Y. : Adventures 

Into the Unknown (D), Romantic Adventures (A), Spy -Hunters (C), The 

Kilroys (B) 
Better Publications, Inc., 10 East 40th Street, New York, N. Y. : Exciting War 

(C), Popular Romance (C) 
Beverly Publishing Co., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Secret Hearts 

Broadcast Features Publishing Corp., 485 Madison Avenue, New York, N. Y. : My 

Friend Irma (B) 
Canam Publishers Sales Corp., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Journey Into 

Mystery (C), War Action (C) 
Capitol Stories. Inc., Charlton Building, Derby, Conn.: Crime and Justice (D), 

Hot Rods and Racing Cars (C), Lawbreakers Suspense Stories (D), Racket 

Squad in Action (C). Space Adventures (C), Space Western Comics (C), The 

Thing (D), True Life Secrets (C) 
Chipiden Publishing Corp., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Strange Tales (D) 
Classic Syndicate, Inc., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Mystic (D), Spy 

Fighters (C) 
Close-Up, Inc., 241 Church Street. New York, N. Y. : Katy Keene (A), Laugh 

Comics (A), Super Duck Comics (A), Snzie Comics (A) 
Comic Combine Corp., 3.50 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Men's Adventures 
Comic Favorites. Inc., 578 Sumner Street, Stamford, Conn. : Doll Man (C), Gabby 

(A). .Tonesy (B) 
Comic Magazines, 347 Madison Avenue, New York, N. Y: Blackhawk (C), Candy 

(A), Crack Western (C), G. I. Combat (C), G. I. Sweethearts (B), Heart 

Throbs (B), Ken Shannon (C), Love Confessions (B), Love Letters (B), Love 


Secrets (B), Plastic Man (C), Police Comics (C), T-Man (C), War Romances 
(C), Web of Evil (D) 

Ciornell Publishing Corp., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y.: Girl Confes- 
sions (B) 

Creston Publications, Inc., 45 West 45th Street, New York, N. Y. : Giggle Comics 
(A), Ha Ha Comics (A), Soldiers of Fortune (C) 

Crestwood Publishing Co., 1790 Broadway, New York, N. Y. : Black Magic (C), 
Young Love (A) 

Cross Industries Corp., 9 West 57th Street, New York, N. Y. : The Perfect Crime 

Current Books, Inc., 23 West 47th Street, New York, N. Y. : Crime Must Pay the 
Penalty (D) 

Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 261 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Andy Hardy 
Comics (A), Andy Panda, Walter Lantz (A), Beetle Bailey (A), Bozo (A), 
Buck Jones (C), Bugs Bunny (A), Daffy (A), Desert Gold, Zane Grey's (B), 
Donald Duck Walt Disney's (A), Double Trouble (A), Duck Album, Walt 
Disney's (A), Elmer Fudd (A), Flash Gordon (A), Francis, the Famous Talk- 
ing Mule (A), Gene Autry Comics (B), Gene Autry's Champion (B), Gerald 
McBoing Boing (A), Goofy, Walt Disney's (A), Henry, Carl Anderson's (A), 
Henry Aldrich (A), Howdy Doody (A), Indian Chief (B), Johnny Mack Brown 
Comics (B), Lassie (A), Little Iodine (A), Little Lulu. Marge's (A), Looney 
Tunes and Merrie Melodies (A), Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney's (A), New Fun- 
nies, Walter Lantz (A), Oswald, the Rabbit, Walter Lantz (A), Petunia (A), 
Pogo Possum (A), Popeye (A), Porky Pig (A), Raggedy Ann & Andy (A), Rex 
Allen Comics (B), Rootle Kazootie (A), Roy Rogers Comics (C), Rhubarb, 
the Millionaire Cat (A), Sergeant Preston of the Yukon (B), Tarzan (A), 
Tom Corbett, Space Cadet (B), Tom and Jerry Comics (A), Trigger, Roy 
Roger's (A), Tubby, Marge's (A), The Cisco Kid (B), The Flying A's Range 
Rider (C), The Little Scouts (A), The Lone Ranger (C), The Lone Ranger's 
Famous Horse, Hi-Yo Silver (A), The Lone Ranger's Companion, Tonto (A), 
Uncle Scrooge, Walt Disney's (A), Woody Woodpecker, Walter Lantz (A), 
Zane Grey's Desert Gold (B), Zane Grey's King of the Royal Mounted (C) 

Educational Comics, Inc., 225 Lafayette Street, New York, N. Y.i Mad (C) 

Excellent Publications, Inc., 30 East 60th Street, New York, N. Y. : Battle Report 
(D), The Fighting Man (B), The Fighting Man Annual (B). War Report (C), 
War Stories (C) 

Fables Publishing Co., 225 Lafayette Street, New York, N. Y. : Two-Fisted Tales 
(C), The Haunt of Fear (C), Weird Science (D) 

Family Comics, Inc., 1S60 Broadway, New York, N. Y. : Casper, the Friendly 
Ghost (A), Paramount Animated Comics (A) 

Famous Funnies Publications, 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Buster Crabbe 
(C), Famous Funnies (C), Movie Love (A), New Heroic Comics (A) 

Farrell Comics, Inc., 30 East 60th Street., New York, N. Y. : Haunted Thrills 
(D), Strange Fantasy (D), The Lone Rider (C) 

Fawcett Publications, Inc., 07 West 44th Street, New York, N. Y. : Battle Stories 
(C), Beware! Terror Tales (D), Bill Battle (C), Captain Marvel (A), Cap- 
tain Marvel, Jr. (B), Funny Animals (A), Hopalong Cassidy (B), Lash LaRue 
Western (B), Life Story (C), Master Comics (B), Monte Hale Western (B), 
This Magazine Is Haunted (D), Nyoka, the Jungle Girl (B), Rocky Lane 
Western (B), Rod Cameron Western (B), Romantic Story (B), Six-Guu 
Heroes (C), Soldier Comics (C), Sweethearts (C), Tex Ritter Western (C), 
Tom Mix Western (B), The Marvel Family (C), Underworld Crime (C), 
Whiz Comics (D), Worlds of Fear (D) 

Fight Stories, Inc., 1058 Summer Street, Stamford, Conn.: Fight Comics (B) 

Feature Publications, Inc., 1790 Broadway, New York, N. Y. : Frankenstein (C), 
Prize Comics Western (B), Young Brides (B), Young Romance (C) 

Fiction House, 1658 Summer Street, Stamford, Conn.: Ghost Comics (D) 

Gem Publications, Inc., 350 Fifth Avenue. New York, N. Y. : Patsy & Hedy (A) 

Gillmore Publications, Inc. : Weird Mysteries (D) 

Flying Stories, Inc., 1658 Summer Street, Stamford, Conn.: Man O' Mars (B) 

Four Star Publications, Inc., 30 East 6nth Street, New York, N. Y. : Fantastic 
Fears ( C ) , G I in Battle ( C ) , G I in Battle Annual ( C ) , Voodoo ( D ) 

Gilbertson Co., Inc., 826 Broadway, New York, N. Y. : Classics Illustrated, David 
Balfour (A) 

Glen-Kel Publishing Co., 1658 Summer Street, Stamford, Conn. : Jungle Comics 
(C), Kaanga Jungle King (D) 

Harve Picture Magazines: War Comics (C) 


Harvey Enterprises, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N. Y. : First Love Illus- 
trated (C), Horace and Dotty Dripple Comics (A) 

Harvey Picture Magazines, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N. Y. : Little Audrey 
Comics (A), Warfront (C) 

Harvey Publications, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N. Y. : Blondie (A), Dag- 
wood Comics, Chic Young's (A), Daisy and Her Pups (A), Dick Tracy Comics 
Monthly (C), Jiggs and Maggie (A), Joe Palooka Adventures (B), Katzen- 
jammer Kids (A), Little Max Comics (A), Sad Sack Comics (A), Tomb of 
Terror (D) 

Harwell Publications, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : All True Romance 
(C), Horrific (D) 

Headline Publications, Inc., 1790 Broadway, New York, N. Y. : Headline Comics 
(C), Justice Traps the Guilty (C) 

Hercules Publishing Corp., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Menace (C), 
Spy Cases (D) 

Hillman Periodicals, Inc., 535 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Airboy Comics 
(B), Dead-Eye Western (D), Frogman Comics (B), Hot Rod and Speedway 
Comics (B), Real Clue Crime Stories (C), Romantic Confessions (A) 

Home Comics, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N. Y. : Black Cat Mystery (D), 
First Romance Magazine (B), Hi-School Romance (C), Love Problems and 
Advice Illustrated (B) 

I. C. Publishing Co., Inc., 225 Lafayette Street, New York, N. Y. : Tales from the 
Crypt (D), Weird Fantasy (C) 

Interstate Publishing Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Battle Brady 
(C), Young Men on the Battlefield (C) 

Junior Books, Inc., 23 West 47th Street, New York, N. Y. : Fun Time (A) 

K. K. Publications, Inc., Poughkeepsie, N. Y. : Red Ryder Comics (B), Walt 
Disney's Comics and Stories (A) 

Leading Magazine Corp., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Kid Colt Outlaw 

Lev Gleason Publications, Inc., 114 East 32d Street, New York, N, Y. : Black 
Diamond (C), Boy Illustories (C), Boy Loves Girl (C), Crime Does Not 
Pay (C), Crime and Punishment Illustories (D), Daredevil (A), Dilly (A), 
Lover's Lane (A) 

Literary Enterprises, Inc., 10 East 40th Street, New York, N. Y. : Buster Bunny 
(A), Fantastic Worlds (C), Lucky Duck (A), Peter Pig (A), Sniffy the Pup 
(A), Supermouse, the Big Cheese (A) 

L. L. Publishing Co., Inc., 225 Lafayette Street, New York, N. Y. : Crime Sus- 
pen Stories (D), The Vault of Horror (D) 

Love Romances Publishing Co., Inc., 1658 Summer Street, Stamford, Conn. : 
Planet Comics (C) 

Magazine Enterprises, 11 Park Place, New York, N. Y. : Best of the West (C), 
Big Town (C), Cave Girl (C), Straight Arrow (C), Tim Holt (C), The Ameri- 
can Air Forces (B), The Durango Kid (C), The Ghost Rider (D) 

Magazine Publishers, Inc., 737 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, 111.: Mazie (A), 
Mortie (A), Stevie (A) 

Marjean Magazine Corp., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Justice (D) 

Marvel Comics, Inc., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Marvel Tales (D). 

Master Comics, Inc., 11 East 44th Street, New York, N. Y. : Dark Mysteries (D), 
Romantic Hearts (A) 

Michel Publications, Inc., 45 West 45th Street, New Yoi'k, N. Y. : Cookie (A), 
Funny Films (A), Lovelorn (A), Operation: Peril (C), The Hooded Horseman 

Minoan Publishing Corp., 17 East 45th Street, New York, N. Y. : Love Doctor, 
Dr. Anthony King (C), Tales of Horror (D), The Purple Claw (D) 

Miss America Publishing Corp., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Miss America 

National Comics Piiblications, Inc., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N. Y. : 
Action Comics (C), A Date With .Judy (A), Adventure Comics (B), All Ameri- 
can Men of War (B), All Star Western (C), Bat Man (C), Buzzy (C), Comic 
Cavalcade (A), Detective Comics (B), Flippity and Flop (A), Funny Stuff (A), 
Gang Busters (B), Here's Howie (A), Hollywood Funny Folks (A), House of 
Mystery (C), Leading Screen Comics (A), Leave It to Binky (A), Movietown's 
Animal Antics (A), Mr. District Attorney (B), Mutt & Jeff (A), Mystery In 
Space (B), Our Army at War (B), Peter Porkchops (A), Real Screen Comics 
(A), Sensation Mystery (C), Star Spangled War Stories (A), Strange Adven- 
tures (C), Superboy (B), Superman (B), The Adventures of Bob Hope (A), 


The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (A), The Adventures of Rex, 

the Wonder Dog (C), The Fox and the Crow (A), The Phantom Stranger (C), 

Tomahawk (C), Western Comics (B), Wonder Woman (C), World's Finest 

Comics (C) 
Newsstand Publications, Inc., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Lorna the 

Jungle Queen (D), Man Comics (D) 
Official Magazine Corp.: Wendy Parker (B) 

Orbit Publications, Inc., 1819 Broadway, New York, N. Y. : Wanted Comics (C) 
Our Publishing Co., 1819 Broadway, New York, N, Y.: Love Diary (B), Love 

Journal (C) - 

Periodical House, Inc., 23 West 47th Street, New York, N. Y. : Baffling Mysteries 

(D), Love at First Sight (B) 
Parkway Publishing Corp., 11 Park Place, New York, N. Y. : Bobby Benson's B- 

Bar-B Riders (C) 

[Reprinted from Parents Magazine] 

Postal Publications, Inc., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. ; Patsy & Her 
Pals (A) 

Preferred Publications, Inc., 45 West 45th Street, New York, N. Y. : Forbidden 
Worlds (D) 

Prime Publications, Inc., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Uncanny Tales (D) 

Randall Publishers, Ltd., 30 Strathearn Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : Mys- 
teries (D) 

Real Adventures Publishing Co., Inc., 1658 Sumner Street, Stamford, Conn.: 
Jet Aces (C), Jumbo Comics (C), Long Bow (B), Sheena (C) 

Realistic Comics, Inc.,- 575 Madison Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Cowpuncher (C), 
Kit Carson ( B ) , Spotty the Pup ( A ) , Women to Love ( C ) 

Ribage Publishing Corp., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Crime Mys- 
teries (D), Youthful Romances (C) 

Signal Publishing Co., 125 East 46th Street, New York, N. Y. : Girls' Love Stories 
(A), Girls' Romances (B) 

Sphere Publishing Co.. 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Millie the Model (A) 

Sports Action, Inc., 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Combat Casey (C) 

Standard Magazines, Inc., 10 East 40th Street, New York, N. Y. : Date With 
Danger (C), Intimate Love (B),Jetta (C) 

Star Publications, Inc., 545 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : All-Famous Police 
Cases (D), Confessions of Love (C), Frisky Animals (A), Fun Comics (A), 
Popular Teen-Agers (C), Shocking Mystery Cases (D), Spook (D), Startling 
Terror Tales (D), Terrifying Tales (D), Terrors of the Jungle (D), Top Love 
Stories (B), The Horrors (C), The Outlaws (C), True to Life Romances (B), 
Weird Tales, Blue Bolt (D) 

St. John Publishing Co., 545 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Abbott and Costello 
(A), Anchors, the Salt Water Daffy (B), Atom-Age Combat (C), Authentic 
Police Cases (C), Basil the Royal Cat (A), Diary Secrets (B), Gandy Goose 
Comics (A), Heckle and Jeckle Comics, Paul Terry's (A), Little Eva (A), 
Little Ike (B), Little Joe (A), Little Roquefort Comics, Paul Terry's (A), 
Mopsy (A), Paul Terry's Comics (A), Paul Terry's Mighty Mouse Comics (A), 
Pictorial Romances (C), Teen-Age Romances (B), Teen-Age Temptation (B), 
Terry-Toons Comics (A), True Love Pictorial (C), War-Time Romances (C), 
Weird Horrors (C), Zip- Jet (C) 

Stanhall Publications, Inc., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N. Y. : G. I. Jane 
(B), Oh, Brother (A) 

Stanmor Publications, Inc., 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N, Y. : Battle Cry (C). 

Story Comics, Inc., 7 East 44th Street, New Yox'k, N. Y. : Fight Against Crime 
(D), Mysterious Adventures (D). 

Superior Publishers Limited, 2382 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Can- 
ada : Journey Into Fear (D), Love and Marriage (B), My Secret Marriage (A), 
Secret Romances (C), Strange Mysteries (D). 

Timely Comics, Inc.: Love Romances (B). 

Tiny Tot Comics, Inc., 225 Lafayette Street, New York, N. Y. : Frontline Combat 
(A), Shock Suspen Stories (D). 

Toby Press, Inc., 17 East 45th Street, New York, N. Y. : Big Tex (C), Billy the 
Kid (C), Felix the Cat, Pat Sullivan's (A), Great Lover Romances (C), John 
Wayne Adventure Comics (C), Monty Hall of the U. S. Marines (C), The Black 
Knight (C), Washable Jones and the Shmoo (A). 

Trojan Magazines, Inc., 125 East 46th Street, New York, N. Y. : Attack! (B). 

20th Century Comic Corp., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Astonishing (D), 



Kent Blake of the Secret Service (B), Mystery Tales (C). 

United Feature Syndicate, Inc., 220 East 42d Street, New York, N. Y.; Fritzi 
Ritz (B), Nancy and Sluggo (A), Sparkle Comics (A), Sparkler Comics (A), 
The Captain and the Kid (A), Tip-Top Comics (A), Tip Topper Comics (A). 

Unity Publishing Corp., 23 West 47th Street, New York, N. Y. : The Beyond (D). 

Visual Editions, Inc., 10 East 40th Street, New York, N. Y. : Adventures into 
Darkness (D), Joe Yank (C), Kathy (A), New Romances (A), The Unseen 
(D), This Is War (C). 

Western Fiction Publishing Co., Inc., 270 Park Avenue, New York, N. Y. : Journey 
Into Unknown Worlds (C), Wild Western (C). 

Witches Tales, Inc., 1860 Broadway, New York, N. Y. : Chamber of Chills Maga- 
zine (D), Witches Tales Magazine (D). 

Wings Publishing Co., 1658 Summer Street, Stamford, Conn., Indians (B), Wings 
Comics (B). 

Youthful Magazine, Inc., 105 East 35th Street, New York, N. Y. : Atomic Attack I 
(C), Daring Confessions (B), Chilling Tales (D). 

Ziff-Davis Publishing Co., 366 Madison Avenue, New York, N. Y. : G. I. Joe (B). 

Exhibit No. 6b 


An Evalttation of Comic Books — Jtn.Y 1953 

The Committee on Evaluation of Comic Books, P. O. Box 1486, Cincinnati, Ohio, 
with 84 trained reviewers, has evaluated the 418 comic books available. They 
are placed in the catejrories of No Objection, Some Objection, Objectionable, and 
Very Objectionable. Those in the first two are deemed suitable for use by chil- 
dren and younger teen-agers. 

The frequency of publication is indicated by the symbols (M) for monthly, 
(B) for bimonthly, (Q) for quarterly, and (O) fqr one-shots. 

It is important to know the criteria at the end of this list if one desires to 
know why the Committee has rated these magazines as it has. 

No objection 

Abbott & Costello — B 

A Date With Judy— B 

Andy Hardy Comics — B 

Andy Panda, Walter Lantz' — B 

Archie Comics — B 

Basil— B 

Beetle Bailey— O 

Blondie Comics Monthly — M 

Bob Hope, The Adventures of — B 

Bozo — O 

Bugs Bunny — B 

Buster Bunny — Q 

Candy — M 

Captain Marvel Adventures — M 

Casper, the Friendly Ghost — M 

Classics Illustrated — ^David Balfour — M 

Comic Cavalcade 

Cookie — B 

Daffy— O 

Dagwood Comics, Chic Young's — ^M 

Daisy and Her Pups — B 

Daredevil — M 

Dilly— B 

Dizzy Dames — B 

Donald Duck, Walt Disney's — B 

Double Trouble with Goober — O 

Duck Album, Walt Disney's 

Elmer Fudd— O 

Felix the Cat— M 

Flash Gordon — Q 

Flippity and Flop — B 

Francis, the Famous Talking Mule — O 

Frisky Animals — Q 

Frontline Combat — B 

Fun Comics — Q 

Fun Time— Q 
Funny Animals- 
Funny Films — B 
Funny Folks 
Funny Stuff- B 
Gabby— B 

Gandy Goose Comics — B 
Gerald McBoing Boing — Q 
Giggle Comics — B 
Girl's Love Stories — B 
Goofy, Walt Disney's — O 
Ha Ha Comics — B 
Heckle and Jeckle Comics — B 
Henry, Carl Anderson's — B 
Henry Aldrich — Q 
Here's Howie — B 

Hi-Yo Silver, The Lone Ranger's— Q 
Hollywood Funny Folks — B 
Horace and Dotty Dripple Comics — ^B 
Howdy Doody — B 
Jiggs and Maggie — B 
Jusrhead Comics, Archie's Pal — B 
Kathy— Q 

Katy Keene Comics — B 
Katzenjammer Kids — B 
Lassie, M-G-M's — Q 
Laugh Comics — B 
Leading Screen Comics — B 
Leave It to Binky — B 
Little Audrey Comics — M 
Little Eva— B 
Little Iodine— B 
Little Joe 
Little Lulu, Marge's— M 



Little Max Comics — B 

Little Roquefort Comics, Paul Terry's — 

Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies — M 
Lovelorn — M 
Lover's Lane — B 
Lucky Dnick — Q 
Marmaduke Mouse — M 
Merry Mouse — B 
Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney's — B 
Mishty Mouse Comics, Paul Terry's — M 
Millie the Model Comics — M 
Miss America — M 
Mopsy — B 
Mortie — Q 
Movie Love — B 

Movietown's Animal Antics — B 
Mutt and Jeff— B 
My Own Romance — M 
My Secret Marriage — B 
Nancy and Sluggo — B 
New Funnies, Walter Lantz' — M 
New Heroic Comics — M 
Oh, Brother— B 

Oswald, the Rabbit, Walter Lantz'— O 
Paramount Animated Comics — B 
Patsy and Hedy — M 
Patsy and Her Pals — B 
Patsy Walker— B 
Paul Terry's Comics — M 
Pep Comics — B 
Personal Love — B 
Peter Pig— Q 
Peter Porkchops — B 
Peter Rabbit— B 
Petunia — O 
Poi^o Possum — Q 
Popeye — Q 
Porky Pig— B 

Some objection 

Adventure Comics 

All American Men of War 

Anchors, the Salt Water Daffy — B 

Captain Marvel, Jr. — B 

Darling Confessions 

Desert Gold, Zaue Grey's — Q 

Detective Comics — B 

Diary Secrets — B 

Dynamite — B 

Fight Comics — Q 

Fighting Daniel Boone — O 

Fighting Underseas Commandoes — Q 

First Romance Magazine — B 

Fritzi Ritz — B 

Frogman Comics 

Gang Busters — B 

Gene Autry's Champion — Q 

Gene Autry's Comics — M 

Girl Confessions — B 

G I Jane — B 


G I Sweetheart — M 

Girl's Romances — B 

Glamorous Romances — B 

Heart Throbs — M 

Hopalong Cassidy — M 

Raggedy Ann & Andy 

Real Screen Comics — M 

Rhubarb, the Millionaire Cat — O 

Romantic Adventures — M 

Romantic Confessions 

Romantic Hearts — B 

Rootle Kazootie — O 

Sad Sack Comics — B 

Secret Hearts — B 

Sniffy the Pup— Q 

Space Mouse — B 

Sparkle Comics — B 

Sparkler Comics — B 

Spotty the Pui>— O 

Star Spangled War Stories 

Stevie— Q 

Super Duck Comics — B 

Supermouse, the Big Cheese — B 

Suzie Comics — B 

Tarzan — M 

Terry Toons Comics — B 

Tip Top Comics — B 

Tip Topper Comics — B 

Tom and Jerry Comics — M 

Trigger, Roy Rogers' — Q 

Tubby, Marge's — O 

The Adventures of Dean Martin and 

Jerry Lewis — B 
The Captain and the Kid — O 
The Fox and the Crow — B 
The Little Scouts— O 
Uncle Scrooge, Walt Disney's 
Walt Disney's Comics — M 
Washable Jones and the Shoos — O 
Wilbur Comics — B 

Woody Woodpecker, Walter Lantz' — B 
Young Love — M 
15 or 27% 

Hot Rod and Speedway Comics 

Indian Chief — B 

Indians — B 

Intimate Love — B 

Joe Palooka's Adventures — B 

Johnny Mack Brown Comics 

Jonesy — B 

Kent Blake of the Secret Service — B 

Kit Carson — O 

Lash LaRue Western — M 

Little Ike 

Long Bow 

Love and Marriage — B 

Love Confessions — M' 

Love at First Sight— B 

Love Diary — B 

Love Letters 

Love Problems and Advice lUustrated- 

Love Romances — B 
Love Secrets — M 
Lovers — M 
Lucy — B 
Man O' Mars — O 
Master Comics 
Men's Adventures — B 



Mr. District Attorney— B 
Monte Hale Western — B 
My Friend Irma — ^M 
Mystery in Space — B 
Nyoka the Jungle Girl-— B 
Our Army at War — M 
Out of the Shadows— Q 
Prize Comics Western 
Keal Love — B 
Red Ryder Comics — M 
Rex Allen Comics — Q 
Rex the Wonder Dog — B 
Rocky Lane Western — M 
Rod Cameron Western 
Romantic Story — Q 
Sergeant Preston of the Yukon- 
Space Adventures — B 
Space Western Comics 
Spellbound^ — B 
Superboy — B 


Action Comics — M 

All Star Western— B 

All True Romance — B 

Atom-Age Combat — Q 

Atomic Attack — B 

Authentic Police Cases — ^B 

Batman — B 

Battle Brady— B 

Battle Casey 

Battle Cry— B 


Battle Stories — B 

B-Bar-B Riders— Q 

Best of the West— Q 

Beware — B 

Big Tex— O 

Big Town — B 

Cave Girl— O 

Combat Casey — B 

Bill Battle 

Billy the Kid— B 

Black Diamond Western — B 

Black Magic Magazine 

Blackhawk — M 

Boy Ulustories — M 

Boy Loves Girl— M 

Buck Jones — O 

Buddies of the U. S. Army 

Buster Crabbe — B 

Buzzy — B 

Complete Love Magazine — B 

Confessions of Love — ^B 


Crack Western 

Crime Does Not Pay— M 

Danger — B 

Date With Danger 

Dick Tracy Comics Monthly 

Doll Man 

Exciting War — Q 

Famous Funnies — B 

Fantastic Fears — B 

Fantastic Worlds 

I'irst Love Illustrated — ^M 

Frankenstein — B 

Superman — B 

Teen-Age Romances — B 

Teen-Age Temptation — B 

Ten- Story Love— B 

True-Life Secrets — B 

Tom Corbett, Space Cadet — Q 

Tom Mix Western — B 

Top Love Stories — B 

True to Life Romances — B 

The American Air Forces — Q 

The Cisco Kid — B 

The Fighting Man — B 

The Fighting Man Manual 

The Kilroys — B 

The Lone Ranger's Companion, Tonto 

Wendy Parker — M 

Western Comics — B 

Wings Comic — O 

loung Brides — B 

90 or 22% 

G I In Battle— B 

G I in Battle Annual 

G I Combat— M 

Great Lover Romances — B 

Headline Comics 

Hi-School Romance — B 

Hot Rods and Racing Cars — B 

House of Mystery — M 

Jesse James — O 

Jet Aces — O 


Joe York 

J(;hn Wayne Adventure Comics— B 

Journey Into Mystery — M 

Journey Into Unknown Worlds — ^M 

Jumbo Comics 

Jungle Comics — Q 

Justice Traps the Guilty — M 

Ken Shannon 

Kid Colt Outlaw— B 

Life Story 

Love Doctor, Dr. Anthony King's 

Love Experiences — ^B 

Love Journal — B 

Mad— B 

Marvel Tales— M 

Menace — M 

Monty Hall of the U. S. Marines 

Mystery Tales — M 

Night of Mystery 

Operation: Peril 

Out of the Night— B 

Pictorial Romances — B 

Planet Comics — O 

Plastic Man — B 

Police Comics — B 

Popular Romances — Q 

Popular Teen-Agers — B 

Racket Squad in Action — B 

Real Clue Crime Stories 

Roy Rogers Comics — M 

Secret Romances 

Sensation Mystery — ^B 

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle — Q 

Shocking Mystery Cases— B 



Six-Gun Heroes — B 

Skeleton Hand — B 

Soldier Comics — B 

Soldiers of Fortune 

Space Western Comics — B 

Spy Fighters — B 

Spy Hunters — B 

Straight Arrow — B 

Strange Adventures — M 


Tex Bitter Western— B 

This Is War— Q 

Tim Holt— B 

T-Man— B 

Tomahawk — B 

True Love Pictorial — B 

Two-Fisted Tales— B 

The Adventures of Rex, the Wonder 

The Black Knight 
The Flying A's Range Rider — Q 
The Durango Kid — B 
The Ghost Rider— Q 
The Hooded Horseman 
The Horrors — B 
The Lone Ranger — M 
The Lone Rider— B 
The Marvel Family — M 
The Outlaws— B 
The Perfect Crime — B 

Very objectionable 

Adventures Into Darkness — B 

Adventures Into the Unknown 

All-Famous Police Cases — B 

Astonishing — B 

Baffling Mysteries — B 

Battle Report— B 

Beware ; Terror Tales — B 

Black Cat Mystery— B 

Chamber of Chills— B 

Chilling Tales— B 

Crime and Justice 

Crime and Punishment — B 

Crime Mysteries — B 

Crime Must Pay the Penalty — B 

Crime Suspen Stories — B 

Dark Mysteries 

Dead-Eye Western — B 

Eerie — Q 

Fight Against Crime — B 

Forbidden Worlds — M 

Ghost Comics — Q 

Haunt of Fear — B 

Haunted Thrills— B 

Horrific — B 

Journey Into Fear — B 

Justice — B 

Kaanga Jungle King — Q 

Lawbreakers Suspense Stories 

Lorna the Jungle Queen — B 

Man Comics — B 

Mister Mystery — B 


Mysterious Adventures — B 

Mystic — B 

The Phantom Stranger — B 

Underworld Ci'ime — Q 

United States Tank Commandos 

Wanted Comics 

War Action — B 

War Comics — B 

Warfront— B 

War Fury 

AVar Heroes 

War Report 

War Romances 

War Stories 

Wartime Romances — B 

Weird Fantasy — B 

Weird Horrors 

Weird Mysteries — B 

Wild Bill Hickok 

Wild Western— B 

Woman to Love — O 

Wonder Woman — B 

World's Finest Comics 

World War III 

Young Men on the Battlefield — B 

Young Romances — M 

Youthful Romances — B 

Zane Grey's King of the Royal 

Mounted — Q 
Zip Jet— B 
148 or 34% 

Shock Suspen Stories — B 

Shock Mystery 


Spook— B 

Spy Cases — B 

Startling Terror Tales — B 

Strange Fantasy — B 

Strange Mysteries — B 

Strange Tales — M 

Tales From the Crypt — B 

Tales of Horror 

Terrifying Tales 

Terrors of the Jungle — B 

This Magazine is Haunted — B 

Tomb of Terror — B 

The Beyond— B 

The Hand of Fate— B 

The Purple Claw 

The Thing— B 

The Unseen — Q 

The Vault of Horror— B 

Uncanny Tales — M 


Web of Evil— B 

Web of Mystery — B 

Weird Science — B 

Weird Tales— B 

Weird Terror— B 

Whiz Comics — B 


Witches Tales— B 

Worlds of Fear — B 

Total, 418 

65 or 16 percent 



Cbitekia for Evaluating Comic Books 


JV'o Objection 

1. Good art work, printing, and color arrangement. 

2. Good diction. 

3. The overall effect pleasing. 

4. Any situation that does not offend good taste from the viewpoint of art or 


Some ol)jection 

1. Poor art work, printing, and color arrangement. 

2. Mechanical setup injurious to children's eyes ; print too small ; art work 


3. Poor grammar and underworld slang. 

4. Undermining in any way traditional American folkways. 


1. Propaganda against or belittling traditional American institutions. 

2. Obscenity, vulgarity, profanity, or the language of the underworld. 

3. Prejudice against class, race, creed, or nationality. 

4. Divorce treated humorously or as glamorous. 

5. Sympathy with crime and the criminal as against law and justice. 

6. Criminals and criminal acts made attractive. 

Very objectionable 
1. An exaggerated degree of any of the above-mentioned acts or scenes. 


No objection 

1. An uplifting plot. 

2. Wholesome characters. 

3. Characters dressed properly for the situation. 

4. If crime, when it enters the plot, is incidental. 

5. Any situation that does not compromise good morals. 

Borne objection 

1. Criminal acts or moral violations even if given legal punishment. 

2. The presence of criminals, even if they are not shown as enjoying their 


1. Women as gun molls, criminals, and the wielders of weapons. 

2. Any situation having a sexy implication. 

3. Persons dressed indecently or unduly exposed (costumes not appropriate 
to the occasion). 

4. Crime stories, even if they purport to show that crime does not pay. 

5. Stories that glamorize unconventional behavior. 

6. Situations that glamorize criminals. 

7. The details or methods of crime, especially if enacted by children. 

8. Thwarted justice. 

9. Law-enforcement officials portrayed as stupid or ineffective. 

Very objectionable 
1. An exaggerated degree of any of the above-mentioned acts or scenes. 


No objection 

1. Any situation that does not arouse morbid emotionality in children. 

Some objection 

1. Overrealistic portrayal of death of villains. 

2. Grotesque, fantastic, unnatural creatures. 

3. Imminent death of a hero or heroine. 


1. The kidnaping of women or children, or the implication of it. 

2. Characters shown bleeding, particularly from the face or mouth. 


3. The use of chains, whips, or other cruel devices. 

4. The morbid picturizatiou of dead bodies. 

5. Stories and pictures that tend to anything having a sadistic implication or 
suggesting use of blacli magic. 

6. Portrayal of mayhem, acts of assault, or murder. 

7. People being attacked or injured by wild animals or reptiles. 

8. Stories or frames which tend to affect the war effort of our Nation adversely. 

Very ohjectionable 
1. An exaggerated degree of any of the above-mentioned acts or scenes. 


These criteria are intended to serve primarily as guides and check-points in 
the evaluation of comic books, rather than as complete standards which must 
in all cases be applied literally and rigidly. 

They should be used by the reviewer in the light of his best judgment and 
regarding good taste, the intent and the spirit of the story, and the context of 
the individual frames of the story. 

Mr. Clendenen. And, finally, I would like to introduce a reprint 
from the Parent's Magazine entitled "555 Comic Magazines rated." 

The Chairman. Without objection, the material will be included 
in the record. Let it be exhibit No. 7. 

(The material referred to w^as marked "Exhibit No. 7," and reads as 
follows :) 

Exhibit No. 7 
[Reprinted from Parents' Magazine] 

555 Comic Magazines Rated 

Acceptable — Questionable — Bad 

Cincinnati Rates the Comic Books 

This community went to work and did something about the comics. Here are 

their recommendations 

By Jessie L. Murrell, Chairman, Committee on Evaluation of Comic Books, 

Cincinnati, Ohio 

Many parents, teachers, communities are upset about comic books and the in- 
fluence they are having on children today. But in most cases, although parents, 
teachers, and communities have done a good deal of talking, they have taken no 
steps to evaluate the comics now on the market. Not so Cincinnati ; that city 
made up its mind that talk was not enough, so they organized and went into 

One of the ministers in the Cincinnati metropolitan area is credited with start- 
ing the project when he addressed his congregation during National Family 
Week. In the course of his sermon he mentioned the undesirable influence on 
the family of certain types of comic books. 

That portion of his sermon got into the Cincinnati papers the next day and was 
picked up by the broadcasting stations. Mail began pouring in and the minister's 
phone rang incessantly. Whereupon the Council of Churches set up a committee 
with this minister as chairman and asked it to see what, if anything, could be 
done about the comics. 

The committee approached the organizations in greater Cincinnati that work 
with and for youth, inviting them to send representatives to a meeting. The 
response was excellent and the Committee on Evaluation of Comic Books was 
formed. It immediately went to work. 

The organizations represented on the committee were the University of Cin- 
cinnati, Xavier University, the Women's University Club, the parent-teachers 
associations (public and parochial), the Boys Scouts, the Girl Scouts, 
the YMCA, the YWCA, the playgi-ound group, the juvenile courts, the Council of 
Church, the libraries, the private schools, and the three major religious 


groups — Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish. About one-third of the members of 
the committee were men. 

At the outset the committee adopted a policy of attempting to cooperate with 
publishers and distributors to improve the quality of comic magazines. It de- 
cided it would seek no censorship ordinances. If the publishers chose to ignore 
appeals to make better comics, the committee would then do its best to persuade 
the public to be more selective in buying them. 

Another important decision of the committee was to draw up criteria for de- 
termining whether a comic book is good or bad. If a comic book is considered 
undesirable, why is it so rated? If another comic book is considered good, why 
is it so rated? An executive committee worked for 3 mouths to find answers 
to these questions. The result was '"a profile chart" or measuring device to be 
used by the reviewers in recording their findings. After some months of experi- 
mentation, the committee felt that its findings were trustworthy. 

A major problem was recruiting and training reviewers who would read all 
the comic books thoroughly and record on the profile charts their impressions. 
At every stage they were urged to exercise care in order to be fair to all persons 
and organizations concerned. Two other members of the committee were assigned 
the responsibility of studying the work of the reviewers and of making the overall 
evaluation of each comic book reviewed. Time and results have proved the wis- 
dom of this course. 

Every story in each comic book was evaluated in terms of its cultural, moral, 
and emotional tone and impact. Then the committee's reaction to it was listed 
as no objection, some objection, objectionable, and very objectionable. If no 
feature in a comic book received anything lower than the first two ratings, the 
book was pronounced suitable for children and youth. 

At first the Cincinnati committee decided to publish only the list which it con- 
sidered acceptable. But public demand has led to the publication of the entire 

Of the 555 comic magazines included in the most recent evaluation, 57.47 per- 
cent were judged suitable for children and youth. Only 12.43 percent rated 
"very objectionable." As a result, the committee feels that wholesale condem- 
nation of comic books is unwarranted. It is also convinced that the general 
public, the local distributors and many comic book publishers want better 
comics. But the latter have no way of making their desires effective beyond 
their respective establishments. One of the youngest industries in America, the 
business of publishing comic books now includes the publication of more than 
half of all magazines published in this country. During the past year 
or so the distribution of comic books has been variously estimated at 60 to 80 

In general the contents of comic books may be described as follows : 

Adolescent characters such as bobby-soxers with dates — proms and the like- 
generally wholesome. 

Animal characters with their appeal to small children : and these are nearly 
always harmless. 

Adventure comics which include a good deal of wild-west excitement — ^gun- 
toting and the like. 

Classic comics which brief well known stories with pictures and action- 
Crime comics which include a large proportion of the comic books. 

Jungle comics which play upon man's battle with beasts and reptiles, often 
showing women as the principal actors. 

True comics which are generally based on historical fact. 

Wonder comics which deal with the mysterious or awe-inspiring. 

Superman comics which portray the activities of characters that display super- 
human strength or wisdom, 

A rather large number of comic magazines too varied to classify. 

Those who consider certain comic magazines harmful give a variety of reasons 
for their judgment. The more important are : 

The comic magazines glamorize unwholesome phases of life and exert a power- 
ful adverse influence upon the uncritical minds of children. 

Many comics tend to overstimulate the neurotic or unstable child, and do him 

The crime and cruelty which are portrayed in many comic books tend to 
develop cruelty in children and to accustom them to violence and crime. 

The brief treatment of events and the graphic picturization of stories tend to 
make young people impatient with good literature, thus threatening the literary 
culture of our society. 


Many comic magazines are printed on cheap paper and their artwork, color, 
drawing and printing are of such quality as to strain children's eyes. 

Since children are imitators and tend to identify themselves with characters 
in the comic books, particularly with heroes, it is dangerous for them to be 
influenced by the large number of questionable characters paraded in the comics. 

Even though some comics do profess to teach that crime does not pay, the chil- 
dren who read them may not get that lesson while they are following and enjoy- 
ing the exploits of some dashing hero-criminal. Even if they note the preach- 
ment in the last picture or two, some children are apt to say that the character 
should have been smarter than to get caught. 

Some comics tend to stimulate unwholesome sexual and social attitudes. 

Many comics show scenes and situations that tend to frighten children and to 
leave gruesome pictures in their minds, affecting them not only at the moment or 
soon after, but also creating more lasting phobias and fears. 

There is the danger that a child who likes the comics will spend all his time 
or too large a proportion of it in reading the comics and neglect good books ; or 
read comics when he ought to be active and out of doors. 

While it is difficult to trace all the causes for juvenile bad conduct today, it is 
logical to believe that it may have been accentuated by the reading of some of 
the comic books. 

It must be assumed that comic books are here to stay ; therefore, it seems wise 
to take such steps as will offer the greatest promise of improvement. And the key 
to improvement is public opinion. If parents and organizations set an example of 
selective buying, it will soon be felt and heeded by the publishers. That is better 
than resorting to legal regulations and ordinances. 

There are steps which individuals can take to improve the comic book situation. 

Parents should know what their children are reading. Forbidding children to 
read the comics is apt to stimulate their interest in them. There are wiser ways 
by which parents may advise and influence their children to buy and read the 
better comics. 

Individuals may cooperate in a volunteer organization such as the one in Cin- 
cinnati to encourage the reading of better comics. There can and should be such 
a group in every community. 

Here are the methods that are used and standards for evaluating the comic 
books observed by the Cincinnati committee : 

cttltural area 
No otjection 

1. Good artwork, printing and color arrangement. 

2. Good diction. 

3. The overall effect pleasing. 

4. Any situation that does not offend good taste from the viewpoint of art or 

Some objection 

1. Poor artwork, printing, and color arrangement. 

2. Mechanical setup injurious to children's eyes; print too small; artwork too 

3. Poor grammar, underworld slang. 

4. Undermining in any way traditional American folkways. 


1. Propaganda against or belittling traditional American institutions. 

2. Obscenity, vulgarity, profanity, or the language of the underworld. 

3. Prejudice against class, race, creed, or nationality. 

4. Divorce treated humorously or as glamorous. 

5. Sympathy with crime and the criminal as against law and justice. 

6. Criminals and criminal acts made attractive. 

Very objectionable 

1. An exaggerated degree of any of the above-mentioned acts or scenes. 


No objection 

1. An uplifting plot. 

2. Wholesome characters. 

3. Characters dressed properly for the situation. 


4. If crime, when it enters the plot, is incidental. 

5. Any situation that does not compromise good morals. 

Some objection 

1. Criminal acts or moral violations even if given legal punishment, 

2. The presence of criminals even if they are not shown as enjoying their 


1. Women as gun molls, criminals, and the wielders of weapons. 

2. Any situation having a sexy implication. 

3. Persons dressed indecently or unduly exposed (costume not appropriate to 
the occasion). 

4. Crime stories even if they purport to show that crime does not pay. 

5. Situations that glamorize criminals. 

6. The details or methods of crime, especially if enacted by children. 

7. Thwarted justice. 

8. Law-enforcement oflBcials portrayed as stupid or ineffective. 

Very ohjectionable 
1. An exaggerated degree of any of the above-mentioned acts or scenes. 


No objection 

1. Any situation that does not arouse morbid emotionality in children. 

Some objection 

1. Overrealistic portrayal of death of villains. 

2. Grotesque, fantastic, unnatural creatures. 

3. Imminent death of hero or heroine. 


1. The liidnapping of women or children or the implication of it. 

2. Characters shown bleeding, particularly from the face and mouth. 

3. The use of chains, whips, or other cruel devices. 

4. The picturization of dead bodies. 

5. Stories and pictures that tend to upset children. 

6. Anything with sadistic implication. 

7. Portrayal of mayhem, acts of assault or murder. 

8. People being attacked or injured by animals or reptiles. 

Very objectionable 
1. An exaggerated degree of any of the above-mentioned acts or scenes. 


These criteria are intended to serve primarily as guides and check-points in the 
evaluation of comic books, rather than as complete standards which must in all 
cases be applied literally and rigidly. They should be used by the reviewer in 
the light of his best judgment regarding good taste, the intent and spirit of the 
story and context of the individual frames of the story. 

The comic magazine ratings presented herewith do not necessarily reflect the 
opinions of the editors and publishers of Parents' Magazine. The evaluations by 
the Cincinnati committee were made partly in the spring and party in the fall of 
1949. It is possible that the character of the contents of some of the magazines 
may have changed since the evaluations. 

How 555 Comics Rate 

Approximately 50 trained reviewers have evaluated the following 555 comic 
magazines, some of which are "one shots" (those appearing only once). Included 
in the list are some magazines which are perhaps no longer being published at 
the time this article appears. The masrazines were classified in four different 
groups, identifiable by means of the key letters, A, B, C, and D. 

Number of magazines : Ratings and key letter 

165 No objection (A) 

154 Some objection (B) 

167 Objectionable (C) 

69 Very objectionable (D) 



Abbott and Costello (B) 

About People (A) 

Ace Comic (C) 

Action Comics (A) 

Actual Romances (A) 

Adveuture Bound (A) 

Adventure Comics (C) 

Adventures in Romance (C) 

Adventures in the Unknown (D) 

Adventures of Alan Ladd (C) 

Aggie Mack Comics (A) 

Air Boy (C) 

Album of Crime (D) 

Al Capp's Dog Patch (C) 

Al Capp's Shmoo (B) 

Alice in Wonderland (A) 

Ail-American Western (C) 

Alley Oop (B) 

All-Famous Crime (D) 

All Great Confession Magazine (D) 

All Hujnor Comics (A) 

All Love Romances (A) 

All Star Comics (D) 

All-Tinie Sports Comics (A) 

All Top (D) 

All-True Crime Cases Comics (D) 

All Western Comics (C) 

Amazing Mysteries (D) 

American's Best Comics (C) 

Andy Panda (A) 

Animal Antics (B) 

Archie Comics (A) 

Authentic Police Cases (D) 

Awful Oscar (B) 

Babe (C) 

Babe Ruth Sports Comics (A) 

Barker, The (A) 

Barnyard Comics (A) 

Baseball Comics (B) 

Bat Man (D) 

Best Love (C) 

Big Shot (B) 

Billy West (C) 

Black Cat Comics (D) 

Black Diamond Western (B) 

Black Terror, The (C) 

Blackhawk (C) 

Blaze Carson (C) 

Blazing West (D) 

Blondie Comics (B) 

Blondie Phantom Comics (B) 

Blue Bolt (B) 

Bobby Shelby Comics (A) 

Boots and Her Buddies (A) 

Boy Commandoes (D) 

Boy Illustrious (B) 

Brenda Starr Comics (O) 

Brick Bradford (B) 

Broadway Romances (B) 

Broncho Bill (C) 

Brownies, The (A) 

Bruce Gentry Comics (C) 

Bugs Bunny Super Sleuth (C) 

Buster Bunny (A) 

Buzz Sawyer (C) 

Buzz Sawyer's Pal Sweeney (A) 

Buzzy (A) 

Calling All Kids (A) 

Campus Romances (C) 

Candy (A) 

Captain America (C) 

Captain America's Weird Tales (D) 

Captain and the Kids, The (C) 

Captain Easy (G) 

Captain Kidd (C) 

Captain Marvel Adventures (G) 

Captain Marvel Junior (A) 

Captain Midnight (G) 

Casey Crime Photographer (G) 

Catholic Comics (A) 

Charlies Chan (D) 

Charlie McCarthy (A) 

Christmas with Mother Goose (A) 

Cindy Comics (B) 

Circus Comics (D) 

Clairvoyant (C) 

Classics Illustrated (A) 

Club 16 Comics (B) 

Comedy Comics (A) 

Comic Cavalcade (A) 

Comics on Parade (A) 

Complete Mystery (G) 

Coo Goo Comics (B) 

Cookie (B) 

Cowboy Love (G) 

Cowboy Romances (C) 

Cowboy Western Comics (G) 

Coupuncher Comics (D) 

Crack Comics (C) 

Crime and Punishment (C) 

Grime Detective Comics (G) 

Crime Does not Pay (C) 

Crime Fighter (C) 

Crime Must Pay the Penalty (D) 

Grime Patrol (D) 

Crime Reporter (D) 

Crimes by Women (G) 

Criminals on the Run (G) 

Crown Comics (D) 

Cupid (A) 

Curley Kayoe (G) 

Dagar (D) 

Dale Evans Comics (B) 

Daredevil (C) 

Darling Love (B) 

Darling Romance (B) 

Date With Judy, A (A) 

Dead-Eye (G) 

Desperado (G) 

Detective Comics (B) 

Dexter Comics (B) 

Diary Loves (A) 

Dairy Secrets (B) 

Dick Cole (B) 

Dick Tracy Monthly (C) 

Dick's Adventures (A) 

Dixie Dugan (A) 

Dog Patch (C) 

Donald Duck (B) 

Doll Man (C) 

Don Winslow (G) 

Dotty Dripple Comics (A) 

Dudley (A) 

Durango Kids, The (B) 



Easter with Mother Goose (A) 

Egbert (B) 

Ella Cinders (C) 

Ellery Queen Comics (C) 

Elsie the Cow (A) 

Enchanting Love (A) 

Ernie Comics (B) 

Etta Kett (B) 

Exciting Comics (D) 

Exciting Romances (B) 

Exposed (C) 

Extra Comics (C) 

Fairhair Comics (C) 

Faithful (B) 

Famous Crimes (D) 

Famous Fimnies (D) 

Fast Fiction (C) 

Feature Comics (D) 

Felix the Cat (B) 

Fight Comics (C) 

Fighting Yank, The (C) 

Film Funnies (A) 

First Love Illustrated (A) 

First Romance (C) 

Flaming Love (D) 

Flash Comics (C) 

Flash Gordon (B) 

4most (C) 

Fraka& Lena (B) 

Frankenstein (D) 

Freckles and Her Friends (A) 

Frisky Fables (A) 

Fritzi Ritz Comics (A) 

Frontier Romances (B) 

Funny Animals (A) 

Funny Film (C) 

Funny Folks (A) 

Funny Stuff (A) 

Funny World (B) 

Gabby Hayes Western (C) 

Gangbusters (D) 

Gangsters Can't Win (C) 

Gay Comics (C) 

Gene Autry Comics (A) 

Georgie& Judy (C) 

Ghost Breakers (C) 

Giggle Comics (B) 

Girf Comics (C) 

Girls Love Stories (A) 

Glamourous Romances (A) 

Golden West Love (B) 

Goofy Comics (B) 

Green Hornet Comics (C) 

Green Lantern (B) 

Guilty (D) 

Gunfiighter (C) 

Guns Against Gangsters (B) 

Gunsmoke (C) 

Ha Ha Comics (A) 

Hap Hazard Comics (B) 

Happy Comics (A) 

Headline Comics (D) 

Heart Thorbs (B) 

Heckle «& Jeckle (B) 

Heddy Divine Comics (A) 

Hedy of Hollywood (B) 

Henry (A) 

Heroes All (A) 

Hickory (A) 

High School Romances (B) 

Hit Comics (D) 

Hollywood Confessions (C) 

Hollywood Diaiy (B) 

Hollywood Romances (A) 

Hollwood Secrets (C) 

Hopalong Cassidy (C) 

Hubert at Camp Moonbeam (A) 

Human Torch, The (A) 

Humphrey Comics (C) 

Ideal Love and Romance (B) 

Intimate Love (B) 

Jack Ai-mstrong (B) 

Jeanie Comics (A) 

Jiggs and Maggie (A) 

Jimmie Durante Comics (B) 

Jimmy Wakely (C) 

Jingle Jangle Comics (B) 

Joan of Arc (B) 

Joe College Comics (B) 

Joe Polooka Comics (B) 

Johnny Hazard (D) 

Jo- Jo Comics (D) 

Joker Comics (A) 

Journal of Crime (C) 

Juke Box Comics (A) 

Jumbo Comics (C) 

Jungle Comics (D) 

Jungle Jim (B) 

Juuie from Comics (A) 

Justice Comics (C) 

Justice Traps the Guilty (C) 

Kathy (B) 

Katzenjammer Kids, The (B) 

Kerry Drake Detective (D) 

Kewpies (A) 

Kid Colt (D) 

Kid Eternity (D) 

Kid Zoo Comics (B) 

Kilroys (B) 

King Cole (D) 

King Comics (D) 

King of the Royal 

Mounted (C) 
Krazy Komics (B) 
Lana (B) 

Lash La Rue Western (C) 
Laugh (B) 
Laurel & Hardy (B) 
Lawbreakers Always Lose (C) 
Leading Comics (A) 
Leave It to Binky (A) 
Leroy (C) 
Life Story (A) 
Li'l Abner Comics (C) 
Little Annie Rooney (A) 
Little Aspirin (B) 
Little Audrey (A) 
Little Beaver (B) 
Little Bit (A) 
Little Iodine (A) 
Little Lenny (A) 
Little Lizzie (A) 
Little Max Comics (B) 
Little Miss Muffet (C) 



Little Orphan Annie (A) 

Lone Ranger, The (B) 

Looney Tunes (B) 

Love at First Sight (A) 

Love Classics (C) 

Love Confessions (D) 

Love Diary (B) 

Love Dramas (B) 

Love Experiences (A) 

Love Lessons (B) 

Love Memories (A) 

Love Problems & Advice (A) 

Love Romances (B) 

Love Secrets (C) 

Love Stories of Mary Worth (A) 

Love Tales (B) 

Loveland (B) 

Lovelorn (B) 

Lovers (A) 

Lovers Lane (B) 

Magic Crimes (D) 

Mandrake the Magician (D) 

March of Crime (C) 

Marge's Little Lulu (A) 

Margie Comics (A) 

Mark of Zorro, The (B) 

Marmaduke the Mouse (B) 

Marvel Family, The (B) 

Marvel Mystery Comics (B) 

Master Comics (C) 

Mel Allen's Sport Comics (A) 

Mickey Finn (B) 

Mickey Mouse (B) 

Mighty Atom and the Pixies, The (A) 

Mighty Mouse (B) 

Millie the Model (B) 

Miss America (B) 

Miss Beverly Hills of Hollywood (A) 

Mr. Anthony's Love Clinic (A) 

Mr. District Attorney (C) 

Mjtzi's Boy Friends (A) 

Mitzi's Romances (A) 

Modern Comics (C) 

Modern Love (B) 

Monkeyshines Comics (A) 

Monte Hale Western (C) 

Moon Girl (D) 

Moon MuUins (A) 

Mopsy (B) 

Murder, Inc. (D) 

Mutt and .Jeff (A) 

My Confession (B) 

My Life (D) 

My Love Life (C) 

My Own Romance (B) 

My Past (A) 

My Romance (B) 

My Secret Affair (A) 

My Secret Life (B) 

My Secret Story (A) 

My Story (C) 

Mysterious Traveler (D) 

Namore (C) 

Nancy & Fritzi Ritz (A) 

Nancy & Sluggo (B) 

National Comics (B) 

Nellie the Nurse (A) 

New Funnies (A) 

New Heroic Comics (C) 

Nyoka the Jungle Girl (C) 

Oscar, Oscar (A) 

Oswald the Rabbit (A) 

Our Gang (A) 

Our Love (B) 

Outlaws (C) 

Ozark Ike (B) 

Ozzie & Baba (A) 

Ozzie & Harriet (A) 

Patsy Walker Comics (B) 

Pay Off (C) 

Penny (A) 

Pep Comics (B) 

Peter Porkchops (A) 

Peter Rabbit Comics (A) 

Phantom, The (D) 

Phantom Lady (C) 

Pictorial Confessions (A) 

Pictorial Love Stories (B) 

Pictorial Romances (A) 

Picture Stories from the Bible (A) 

Pinoechio (A) 

Pixies, The (B) 

Planet Comics (C) 

Plastic Comics (C) 

Pogo Possum (B) 

Police Cases (C) 

Polly Pigtails (A) 

Porky Pig (A) 

Porky Pig to the Rescue (A) 

Popeye (A) 

Pride of the Yankees, The (A) 

Prize Comics (C) 

Prize Comics Western (C) 

Public Enemies (C) 

Raggedy Ann & Andy (A) 

Range Romances (B) 

Rangeland Love (B) 

Rangers Comics (D) 

Real Clue Crime Stories (D) 

Real Fact Comics (A) 

Real Life Comics (B) 

Real Love (C) 

Real Screen Comics (A) 

Real Secret (B) 

Real West Romances (C) 

Real Western Hero (B) 

Red Dragon Comics (D) 

Red Rabbit Comics (B) 

Red Ryder Comics (B) 

Revealing Romances (B) 

Rex Harte (B) 

Rocky Lane Western (C) 

Romance Diary (B) 

Romance Tales (A) 

Romance Trail (B) 

Romances of Mollie Minton (B) 

Romances of the West (C) 

Romantic Adventures (B) 

Romantic Confessions (A) 

Romantic Love (C) 

Romantic Secrets (B) 

Romantic Story (B) 

Romantic Western (C) 

Roundup (D) 

Rov Rogers Comics (B) 

Rulah (D) 



Rusty (A) 

Sad Sack (A) 

Saddle Justice (C) 

Saddle Romances (B) 

Saint Comics, The (C) 

Santa and the Angel (A) 

Santa Claus Funnies (A) 

Scribbly (A) 

Sea Hound, The (B) 

Secret Hearts (B) 

Secret Loves (B) 

Select Detective (C) 

Sensation Comics (A) 

Seven Dwarfs (A) 

Seven Seas (C) 

Shadow Comics (D) 

Shmoo (B) 

Skyman (C) 

Slave Girl (D) 

Slick Chick (C) 

Smash Comics (C) 

Smash Hit Sports Comics (C) 

Smilin' Jack (C) 

Smitty (B) 

Smokey Stover (B) 

Sniffy the Pup (A) 

Sparkle (C) 

Sparkle Plenty (A) 

Sparkle Comics (A) 

Sparky Watts (B) 

Spirit of the Border (A) 

Sport Stars (B) 

Spunky (B) 

Spunky Comics (B) 

Spy and Counterspy (D) 

Star Spangled Comics (C) 

Starlet O'Hara (C) 

Stai'tling Comics 'C) 

Steve Canyon Comics (C) 

Steve Roper Comics (C) 

Steve Saunders Special Agent (B) 

Sub-Mariner Comics (C) 

Sugar Bowl Comics (B) 

Sun Girl (D) 

Super Comics (C) 

Super Duck Comics (B) 

Super Rnbhit Comics (A) 

Super Mystery (C) 

Superboy (B) 

Superman (A) 

Supermouse '^A) 

Supersnipe Comics (C) 

Suspense (D) 

Suzie Comics (B) 

Swee' Pea (A) 

Sweet Love (A) 

Sweetheart Diary (A) 

Sweethearts (A) 

Target Comics (C) 

Tarzan (P.) 

Teena (A) 

Teen- Age Diary (A) 

Teen-Age Romances (A) 

Teen Comics (A) 

Terry and the Pirates (C) 

Terry-Toons Comics (A) 

Tessie the Typist (A) 

Tex Granger (B) 

Tex Morgan (C) 

Tex Taylor (C) 

Texan Comics, The (D) 

They Got the Blame (A) 

This Is Tomorrow (A) 

Three Little Pigs (A) 

Three Stooges, The (C) 

Thrilling Comics (C) 

Thumper Follows His Nose (A) 

Tillie the Toiler (A) 

Tim Holt (C) 

Tim McCoy (C) 

Tim Tyler (D) 

Tiny Tessie (A) 

Tip Top Comics (B) 

Tip Topper (B) 

Tipple (B) 

Tipple and Cap Stubbs (A) 

Tom & Jerry (A) 

Tom Mix Western (B) 

Tommy of the Big Top (C) 

Tony Trent (C) 

Top Secrets (C) 

Topex (A) 

Torchy (C) 

Trail Colt (C) 

Treasury Chest (A) 

True Comics (B) 

True Complete Mystery (C) 

True Confidences (B) 

True Crime Comics (C) 

True Sport Picture Stories (C) 

True Stories of Romance (B) 

True to Life Romances (B) 

True Western (C) 

Truth About Crime, The (D) 

Tuffy (A) 

Two-Gun Kid (C) 

Uncle Wiggly (A) 

Underworld (C) 

Vicky Comics (B) 

Walt Disney's Comics and Stories (A) 

Walt Disney's Donald Duck (R) 

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse (B) 

Walt Disney's Pinocchio (A) 

Walt Disney's Seven Dwarfs (A) 

Walt Disney's 3 Little Pigs (A) 

Walt Disney's Thumper Follows His 

Nose (A) 
Walter Lantz New Funnies (A) 
Walter Lantz Oswald the Rabbit (A) 
Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker (A) 
Wambi, tbe Jungle Boy (C) 
Wanted Comics (D) 
War Against Crime (C) 
Western Adventures (C) 
Western Bandit Trails (C) 
Western Comics, The (C) 
Western Fighters (B) 
Western Hero (B) 
Western Killers (D) 
Western Life Romances (C) 
Western Love (B) 
Western Outlaws (C) 
Western Trails (B) 
Western Picture Stories (C) 
Western Romances (C) 
Western Thrillers (D) 


■Western True Crime (C) Wonder Duck (A) 

Western Winners (C) Wonder Woman (A) 

Whiz Comics (B) Woody Woodpecker (A) 

Whodonit (B) World's Finest Comics (D) 

Wilbur Comics (C) Young Hearts (A) 

Wild Bill Hickok (C) Young L^^e (B) 

Wild Western (B) ^ Romance (B) 

^Y^'i SS 5d) Youthful Love Romances (C) 

Winnie Winkle (A) i^^^ >r' , mu . ,t ^- /A^ 

Women in Love (B) Zane Grey's Thunder Mountain (A) 

Women Outlaws (D) Zane Grey's West of the Pecos (A) 

Wonder Comics (D) Zegra (C) 

Mr. Clendenen. Now, I cannot here adequately summarize the vari- 
ous opinions which are expressed by sociologists, psychiatrists, and 
law-enforcement officials and other people who might qualify as experts 
in this field, but I do feel that it is eminently accurate and fair to say 
that there is substantial, although not always unanimous, agreement 
on the following three points : 

1. That the reading of a crime comic will not cause a well adjusted 
and well socialized boy or girl to go out and commit crime. 

2. There may be a detrimental and delinquency producing effect 
upon some emotionally disturbed children who may gain suggestion, 
support, and sanction for acting out his own hostile and aggressive 

3. There is reason to believe that as among youngsters, the most 
avid and extensive consumers of comics are the very boys and girls 
less able to tolerate this type of material. 

As a matter of fact, many experts feel that excessive reading of ma- 
terials of this kind in itself is symptomatic of some emotional malad- 
justment in a youngster. 

In other words, I would say in terms of all these materials that, 
although not completely unanimous, there is very substantial agree- 
ment as to these three points, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Chairman, may I ask one question? 

The Chairman. The Senator from Missouri. 

Senator Hennings. I remember, and I am sure many of us do, the 
enjoyment with which some of us at a very tender age read the horror 
stories of Edgar Allan Poe. Many of us read Sherlock Holmes. 
There was the modus operandi for certainly many crimes. 

I suppose that was the basis of the modern crime story, the beginning 
of the modern crime story. 

Certainly nothing is more horrible and calculated to bring a certain 
degree of terror and chill to the spine of a youngster than the Fall 
of the House of Usher, The Black Cat, and Tlie Pendulum — stories 
of the French Revolution depicting heads held before the crowd on 
the Place de la Concorde and so on. 

Now, how did these differ in your opinion, Mr. Clendenen, these 
comic books, and the manner in wliich these things are presented, 
graphic as they are, being picture stories as they are ? 

These books, too, are rather profusely illustrated by some pictures 
you never forget. I can remember some of them myself, now. How 
do those things differ from tlie things many of us read as youngsters ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Well, I think there are certain differences perhaps 
not so much in the content of tlie material as in its wide distribution 
and greatly increased consumption. 


Now, frankly, I do think that there are some differences even in the 
material itself. In preparation for these hearings we also reviewed — 
for example, I have here two reprints of Nick Carter, which were very 
popular during an earlier era. 

Senator Hennings. That was the so-called dime novels of our 
father's time. 

Mr. Clendenen. That is right. Its reputation in its own day 
would indicate it is really rather tame reading compared to this kind 
of material. This is really much more lurid material. 

Then it would seem to me, of course, that the pictorial presentation 
and all of the vivid colors and so on represent something that is dif- 

Finally, the only other difference that I can point to would be the 
fact that this is very widely available at 10 cents a copy on newsstands 

That is, not only is it available, but the youngster does not have to 
seek it out. The material is there ready to be picked up and urged 
upon him at every turn. 

Senator Hennings. Wasn't that true of the dime novel. You re- 
member the Horatio Alger books also pictured the hero as forswearing 
the dime novels. He did not pick them up on the stands as he went 
through the Bowery area in New York. He didn't read the dime 
novels or go to the Bowery Theater. 

But they were available, too, were they not ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Certainly they were rather readily avialable to 
the youngster, but one point I would like to make is that I am not at 
all sure, and I certainly would not want to say that the material to 
which you refer was not also possibly at any rate detrimental to cer- 
tain youngsters of that generation, too. 

In other wards, as the one point I made, the experts agree that none 
of this material, either Nick Carter or the comics, would make a well 
adjusted and well socialized youngster go out and commit a crime. 

On the other hand, this material may have given suggestion and 
sanction 25 or 30 or 40 years ago to a youngster who may have read it, 
just as exactly these kinds of materials may have given support and 
sanction to youngsters of this generation. 

The Chairman. Senator Kefauver. 

Senator Kefauver. Mr. Clendenen, these are sent through the mails, 
shipped by express, or delivered by truck ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Although the majority of these have a second- 
class mailing permit, actually very few of them move through the 
mails. Most of these are shipped by either freight or express. It is 
a cheaper way of transporting them than through using the mails. 

Senator Kefaver. In any event, the Post Office Department has 
taken it as a rule that the obscene and the indecent statutes as to the 
use of the mail does not prohibit the dissemination of these by mail. 

Mr. Clendenen. No, sir ; I think the facts of the matter are that they 
have not ruled. Actually, these do not move through the mail. 

As I understand it, and now I cannot qualify as any expert here, 
but I understand they do rule only upon materials — well, they would 
rule upon materials at the time the permit was granted, but 6 months 
later they would not be ruling, you see, upon matrials that were cur- 
rently being published because they were not moving through the mail. 


Senator Kefauver. I thought you said they had a second-class 
permit ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, sir; which means they had a ruling at the 
time the permit was granted. 

In other words, they were admitted to the mails at the time the 
permit was granted. That does not mean they grant a new permit, 
the next month, when new materials are turned out. 

Senator Kefauver, Can you tell us whether these things do move 
through the mails, or whether they do not ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Primarily they do not. 

Senator Kefauver. I mean are some shipped through the mails? 

Mr. Clendenen. There are a few companies, for example, that do 
a subscription business and in that instance, for example, individual 
copies would move through the mails. 

Senator Kefauver. Have you ascertained from the Post Office in- 
spectors or the head of that Department whether these are prohibited 
or whether the statute is not broad enough to cover them ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, sir ; I inquired as to that, and their reaction 
was to the effect that if some of these materials did move through the 
mails the Post Office Department might question them. 

Now, actually, the ones that did come to their attention which did 
go through the mails they had found no basis for questioning, but 
they were aware that not all comics by any means are all crime comics. 

Senator Kefauver. I know of no one saying that all crime comics 
be ruled out, but if they are obscene and indecent, there might be a 

Now, counsel, are you going to bring out the matter of why the 
Atlas Corp. formed 25 corporations to carry on its business ? 

Mr. Beaser. We will have the business manager of the Atlas Corp. 

Senator Kefauver, Where is the center of this industry, this horror 
and crime-comic industry ? 

Mr. Clendenen. In New York City. Actually, that holds true 
for the entire comic-book industry. 

Senator Kefauver. I understood there was one reason why we are 
having the hearing here. Do you mean New York City is where the 
material is prepared or shipped from ? 

Mr. Clendenen. New York City is where the publishers are located 
and where the material is prepared. 

Now, actually, the printing might be done in various places. That 
is, a publisher gets a printer to take on a job in Meriden, Conn., or 
upstate New York, or some other location. He sends the material 
after it has been prepared to the printer, the printer prints it, and then 
it is shipped out directly from the printer without being returned 
to the publisher. 

It is shipped directly from the printer to the various distributors 
over the country who in turn distribute it to the wholesalers. 

Senator Kefauver. In connection with the distribution you said 
that Atlas had its own distributing system ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, sir. 

Senator Kefaua'er. Do you mean that is the wholesale, retail, or 
what do you refer to ? 

Mr. Clendenen. A distributor is a company which supplies the 
wholesaler and then the wholesalers supply the retailers. 


Senator Hennings. Like the Union News Co. ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes. 

Senator Kefauver. Is that true generally of the crime-book pub- 
lishers? Do they have their own distributing companies? 

Mr. Clendenen. No, I would not say it is the usual practice, al- 
though it is not unique, either. 

Senator Kefauver. Do some of them own retail outlets ? 

Mr. Clendenen. No, sir ; they do not to my knowledge. 

Senator Kefauver. That is all, Mr. Chairman. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Mr. Clendenen, the name "comic book" is certainly 
a misnomer, is it not, as we apply them to these publications? 

Mr. Clendenen. These are not funny. 

The Chairman. That is the term by which they are designated 
throughout the land, is it not ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Right. 

The Chairman. Mr. Hannoch? 

Mr. Hannoch. Do you expect to say anything further at this time 
on the question of how these comics are distributed, what the general 
system of distribution is? 

Mr. Clendenen. No, sir; I had not intended to. We have both 
distributors and dealers scheduled to appear here, Mr. Hannoch. 

Senator Hennings. Humor after all is a variable, is it not, Mr. 
Clendenen ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, indeed. 

Senator Hennings. Humor is not an absolute. Some people think 
Charles Adams' macabre drawings in the New Yorker magazine are 
very funny. Others think they are not. 

When I was a boy some people thought Little Nemo was funny. 
Little Nemo frightened other children. 

Alice in Wonderland — Lewis Carroll was said to have written it 
for the little girl. It also seemed to me to be an adult book. As a child 
I can understand not liking any of it and the drawings frightened 
me because they were dark and I thought very dreary. 

So again we get into all this question of relative humor, what is 
funny to one person or one group of people, or even as to nations. 
We have made fun of the British and their jokes in London Punch 
for years. Some of the British think they are very funny. Some of 
our people think they are funny and doubtless some of their people 
don't think they are funny. 

It is a little ridiculous to talk about things being humor per se. 
It is all in the eye of the beholder, after all. 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes. 

On the other hand, I would say the comics, the one I presented show- 
ing Frisco Mary who empties the machine gun into the prostrate law 
officer and Mary finally ends up dying in the gas chamber, you know 
there may be humor in this particular situation, but I myself would 
not recognize any humor. 

The Chairman. It is a weird type of humor, is it not ? 

Mr. Clendenen. It would be to me, Senator. 

Senator Ej:fauver. I was interested in what Mr. Clendenen had 
to say as a social worker, or expert, relative to the fact that the larger 
number of these horror books are found in areas where the children 
are less able to take them, that is, in areas I take it where there is high 


juvenile delinquency. Is that an established fact beyond any 
question ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Insofar as I know, Senator, there has been no real 
study of this made. 

As a matter of fact, although many people had long observed that 
youngsters who seemed to be upset and emotionally disturbed many 
times seemed to have an abnormal kind of need to read this more sordid 
type of material, nevertheless, I became aware of this in Washington 
when we went out and attempted to buy crime comics in Washington. 
We found out there were certain types of crime comics we could pur- 
chase only in certain areas of Washington. These were the more 
physically deteriorated and the areas of the city in which there would 
be higher delinquency rates. 

Now I believe that we will have a witness scheduled here who may 
testify as to that point regarding his observations in New York City. 

The Chairman. Mr. Beaser has some questions. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Clendenen, in your investigation did you find that 
the pages of the comic books, crime and horror comic books, are used 
for purposes other than the entertainment and edification of children ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, we certainly did. In this connection I would 
like to refer particularly to the advertising matter appearing in 
comic books. 

Now, a large number of the comic books — and when I use the word 
"comic books," I really should be using the words "crime comic books" 
because that is what our investigation relates to — a large number of 
these publications do carry advertising matter. Now, the type of ad- 
vertising matter is primarily, as a matter of fact I would say more 
than 90 percent, of the mail-order variety. 

Now, I mean by that it is the kind of advertising where they solicit 
you to write in for a publication or some article, and so on. 

It is interesting to note that advertising matter in these publications 
seems to be directed at both adults and children ; that is, you will have 
advertising that would seem to be of no interest whatsoever, of an item 
that would be of little or no interest to youngsters. 

On the other hand you have advertising that would seem to have 
little or be of little or no interest to adults. 

In that connection we have here a slide which shows a collection of 
items which would appeal to juveniles. Now, of this particular ad, 
we were interested in noting and consequently we went ahead and 
made a slide of the opposite page to this particular ad, which is a page 
which shows no less than two violent killings. The contrast actually 
struck us a bit. 

On one page they were killing two men, on the opposite page they 
were advertising dolls for little girls. 

Now, there are still other ads that might be questioned on the basis 
that they would stimulate and enable youngsters to buy articles which 
might be deemed deterimental to their own safety and welfare. 

Here is another picture which, among other things, offers for sale 
4 knives, 2 of which are made for throwing and one of which features 
a 12-inch steel blade. 

It also offers for sale dueling swords, cross bows with metal tipped 
arrows and so forth. 

Senator Kefauver. Is that a pistol in the middle ? 


Mr. Clendenen. Yes, sir; although that is advertised as firing 
blanks, .22 blanks. 

Senator Hennings. That is similar to the one you had on the Board 
in Philadelphia last week. It was denominated a starter's pistol, al- 
though I do not think the starter starting a foot race ever used any- 
thing like that. 

The Chairman. Except they were homemade weapons, were they 

Senator Hennings. No. ; this was one ordered through the mail and 
the placard stated starter's pistol ordered through the mail. 

The Chairman. I thought the Senator was referring to homemade 

Mr. Hannoch. Do these ads advertise switch-blade knives! 

Mr. Clendenen. No, sir ; we heard of ads for switch-blade knives 
in the comic books, but we ourselves located no such ads. 

I would like to say one other word about the advertising, that is, we 
also have very real questions as to whether or not there is not a possi- 
bility that their advertising in comics, that is, the ordering of certain 
articles advertised in comics, may lead to a youngster also being 
solicited by direct mail for salacious, sexually suggestive material. 

Now, that is a possibility which we also plan to explore through the 
presentation of other witnesses. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Clendenen, have you in the course of your investi- 
gation found any evidence of subversion in the use of comics, crime 
and horror comics ? 

Mr. Clendenen. If you mean by that a deliberate and planned ef- 
fort to use the crime comics as a medium through which you are going 
to subvert the minds and morals of youngsters, my answer would be 

Now, that does not mean that youngsters cannot or may not be dam- 
aged unintentionally and not by plan. 

Now, I would like to make a couple other comments on this particu- 
lar question. First of all, as I have said earlier, our investigation 
to date has related only to the crime-type comics. 

In other words, we have not gone into war comics, love comics, 
jungle comics, and the many other varieties of comics. 

Now, we do plan and will be looking further at some of these other 
types of comics. They will be subject to careful evaluation and cer- 
tainly, Mr. Beaser, we will be looking for such evidence of subversion 
in the course of that exploration. 

Now, I would like to mention one other item in connection with this. 
I have here a copy of a newsletter which is issued by the Association 
of Comic Magazine Publishers which contains an item regarding a 
charge which appeared in the Rapid City, S. D., Journal on February 
18 of this year, which did make the claim that certain comic books were 
being utilized in an effort to get certain kinds of communistic propa- 
ganda across to youngsters. 

Now, at the other extreme, I would like to mention one other item. 
That is, I have here a page which is designed to appear in another 
not too distant issue of a comic book, and this little page contains three 
different pictures. It is entitled "Are You a Red Dupe?" It is the 
story of Melvin Blizunken-Skovitchsky, who lives in Soviet Russia 
and who printed comic books, but some people didn't believe that other 


persons had intelligence enough to decide what they wanted to read 
and so the secret police came and smashed poor Melvins four-color 
press and end up by hanging Melvin to the tree. 

Now, there is a message down at the bottom and it ends up by say- 
ing. "So the next time some joker gets up at a PTA meeting, or starts 
jabbering about 'the naughty comic books' at your local candy store, 
give him the once-over. We are not saying he is a Conmiunist ! He 
}nay be innocent of the whole thing ! He may be a dupe ! He may 
not even read the 'Daily Worker' ! It is just that he's swallowed the 
Ked bait — hook, line, and sinker I" 

So at the other extreme some people would make out anyone who 
raised any question whatsoever about the comics was also giving out 
Red-inspired propaganda. 

Senator Hennings. Insofar as you have been able to determine and 
evaluate tins whole enterprise, or industry, the profit motive is the 
factor, is it not ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, sir ; that is my own opinion. 

Senator Hennings. You do not suggest that there is any conspira- 
torial attempt to corrupt tlip minds of young people nor to influence 
their behavior or their conduct, nor to warp, or otherwise do some- 
thing detrimental to their lives, futures ; it is the business of making 
money out of this? 

Mr. Clendenen. That is right. I hope I made it perfectly clear 
that our investigation revealed no planned etfort. 

Senator Hennings. I think you did, and I wanted to emphasize 
in addition to your having made it clear, Mr. Clendenen, that it is the 
business of making money and they do not seem to care what they do 
or what they purvey or what they dish out to these youngsters as long 
as it sells and brings in the money. 

This seems to be an effort, this "Are you a Red dupe?" business, to 
forestall or bring such pressure to bear as can be against any attempt 
to even look into or to examine this to see what it may be doing. 

Mr. Clendenen. I would interpret it as such. 

Senator Hennings. By throwing the suggestion out that anybody 
who questions whether or not these things are beneficial jnust be a 
Connnunist because of our friend who had tlie press smashed over in 
Soviet Russia ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Right. 

Mr. Hannocii. Where did you get this that has not as yet come out? 

Mr. Clendenen. This was j)rovided to us by a publisher, Mr. 
William Gaines. 

Senator Hennings. While you were investigating him? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Hannoch. Was that supposed to stop you from investigating 
Avhen he showed you this ? 

Mr. Clendenen. No; I think not. He thouglit we would be in- 
terested in the item and he gave it to us. 

Mr. Hannoch. It is about to be published by him? 

Mr. Clendenen. The information that we had was that this would 
appear in a future issue of this publication. 

The Chairman. But it has not been published yet ? 

Mr. Clendenen. We have not seen it on the newsstand, Senator. 

The Chairman. Senator Kefauver? 

49632—54 5 


Senator Kefauver. This is very interesting. They attempt to quote 
the Daily Worker to show tliat anyone who questions comics is a Com- 
munist. I think this should be placed in the record along with the 
item you spoke about that quoted the editor from Rapid City, S. Dak. 

The Chairman. The Chair agrees with the Senator from Tennessee, 
and without objection, the items will be made a part of the record. 
Let that be exhibits Nos. 8 a and b. 

(The information referred to was marked "Exhibits Nos. 8a and b," 
and reads as follows:) 

Exhibit No. 8a 

Association of Comics Magazine Publishers, Inc., 

New York, xY. Y., March 18, 195^. 

To all Publishers of Comics Magazines 

comics magazines attacked as COilMUNISTIC 

The following headline appeared in the Rapid City (S. Dak.) Journal on Febru- 
ary 18 : "Number of Comics iiooks on Newsstands 'Communistic'." 

The story ran 19 column inches and quoted various Army officials. 

Following are the first five paragraphs : 

"Fifty communistic publications are available to the people of Rapid City on 
local newsstands, according to a wing intelligence officer of the Ellsworth Air 
Force Base. 

" 'AH local newsstands are carrying communistic literature,' declared Capt. 
William Wygocki who spoke at a conference of civilian and military law-en- 
forcement ofticials at the base Wednesday afternoon. 

"The 'literature' is comic books that show brutal police and FBI officers and are 
derogatory to people of high social status, Wygicki said. 

"They show everyone wlio has a high place in society as cowards with no back- 
bone or regard for life. So they are definitely a menace," he said * * *. 

(The above is an excerpt.) 

The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel on February 23 published a lengthy editorial en- 
titled "Problems Comic Books Produce" and with the editorial ran a cartoon 
showing a book labeled "United States Comic Books" and across the book was 
pictured a hammer and sickle. The editorial concluded with a sentence sum- 
marizing Dr. Frederic Wertham. The editorial writer said : "And as propa- 
ganda agencies for Communist cells, they [comic books] are made to order." 


February 23: Erie (Pa.) Times carries article attacking comics, stating in 
part, "A Times reporter spent 50 cents for 'children's' literature and came up 
with a short course in murder, mayhem, robbery, rape, cannibalism, carnage, sex, 
sadism, and worse." 

February 24: Mayor Thomas Flatley, of Erie, ordered an investigation by 
police of comic books found in Erie stores. 

February 25: Sharon (Pa.) Herald carried story about tlie Erie police in- 

February 27 : Erie Times carries story that the mayor and police chief will 
meet to adopt a city ordinance "with teeth in it" to keep "such matter oft the 


The Chicago News (March 5) reported in a two-column headline: "Ciucci 
Denounced as Wife Cheater." 

And the story said, in part: "Vincent Ciucci, young grocer accused of wiping 
out his family of four because he loved another woman, went on trial for his 
life in criminal court Friday. 

• "The prosecutor described him to the jury as an unfaithful husband, a deceiver 
of his mistress, and a comic book reader." [Italics ours.] 



Mrs. Faye Hnbhard, wife of Mayor Orville L. Hubbard, was wounded by a 
gunshot fired by her 11-year-old son (March 0) ; the mayor was quoted as blaming 
the incident on his boy's interest in comics magazines — ''Russian roulette." Use 
of comics books in election campaigns is subject of legislation pending in Massa- 
chusetts State Legislature, supported by Repul>licans and Democrats. Council- 
man John E. Eugel, of Hackensacli, N. J., asked the city attorney to prepare 
an ordinance to regulate comic books (February 24) (Hackeusack, Bergen 
Evening Record). Newburgh, N. Y., held meeting of 19 organizations to plan 
anticomics campaign, leader having described comics as "subversive" ; results 
of meeting not yet liuown. A special committee is investigating comic books 
in Encondido ; reported in the San Diego (Calif.) Union. The Bentonville, 
Ark., Comics Book Committee finished its evaluation for local people and the 
Fayetteville (Arlv.) Times reports that the chairman, Mrs. Lewis Dahlstrom, 
is now helping other communities evaluate comics, too. Only one-tenth of all 
comics are fit to read, acc(nding to a police captain at a PTA meeting in Fre- 
mont, Ohio, as reported in the Fremont Messenger, February 19. The effect of 
comics on youth is the sul).iect of a current study of tlie Study Club of Freer, Tex. 
"Abolition of degrading comics books for all time" is the goal of a campaign of 
women's clubs in Leesburg, Fla. ; comics books were described as direct con- 
tributors to juvenile delinquency ; late in February and early March, the Or- 
lando (Fla.) Sentinel carried anticomics editorials and letters to the editor. 
The Springfield, Mass. Comics Investigation Committee announced it will not 
engage in "witch hunts" (February 23, Springfield News). Numerous Washing- 
ton dispatches continue to report intention of Hendrickson committee to investi- 
gate comics. Hartford, Conn., continues to be center of strong anticomics fight ; 
nearby communities plan comics curbs, following series by Hartford Courant, 
described in earlier ACMP bulletin ; daily anticomics activity is reported. Anti- 
comics action reported in the press of Los Angeles; Hammond, Ind. ; Houston, 
Tex. ; Detroit, Mich. ; Asheville, N. C. ; and elsewhere. 


Angelo Patri's syndicated newspaper column, while critical of comics, on 
February 26, included tlie following after discussing comics censorstiip : "What 
we want to do is to safeguard the children and still preserve our cherished right 
to read what we choose. It requires careful doing, but it can be done." 


The New Haven Register warmly commended the B. F. Goodrich educational 
comics magazine on highway safety. 

The Erie (Pa.) Times conmiended a local committee that succeeded in "rid- 
ding the city of smutty and obscene literature" no longer visible on the news- 
stands (February 24). 

The New Orleans States warmly praised Dr. Rex Morgan, comic strip, as edu- 
cational and constructive and said the way to deal with "unwholesome enter- 
tainment" is to provide "a more wholesome kind." 

The Albany (N. Y.) Knickerbocker News and Elmira (N. Y.) Star-Gazette 
carried identical editorials (February 19 and 22) on New York State comics 
legislation, concluding that if the State legislature "fails to exercise judgment," 
it will have failed to perform its proper function in connection with pending 
anticomics legislation. 

Alfred A. Albert, Boston leader in civil liberty efforts, defended comics in a 
strong letter to the Boston Herald on March 3. 

Dr. William Darby Glenn, psychology department chief of University of 
Tampa, in a speech before the Miami Woman's Club, declared many a child 
has learned to read from comic books where the conventional reader has failed. 

01)serves the Schenectady (N. Y.) Union Star on February 25: "Enlightened 
and determined public opinion is the only true censorship in a nonpolice state," 
anent anticomics legislation. 

Activity against comics magazines seems to have become more intense in all 
sections of the country in the past 10 days. 

Henry Edwakd Schultz, 

General Council. 


Exhibit No. 8b 







nECooiimmtsTl'aua wo^ifcfg" op july is.igss 

giTTERa ATTACKBC nE ROte OF:' ' ' 


SAME 6. LE^MAM.irt ISSUE *5pF'HEUIK>TlCA? Pt^Bt^SHEO WAi/r;/fU/ 


viT CIVILIZATION... Fantasy violence will paralyze his 



Senator Kefauver. You referred to Mr. Gaines. Who is he ? 

Mr. Clendenen. He is the publisher of the Entertaining Comics 

The Chairman. Entertaining Comic Group. You distinguish 
now from the Crime Comics ? 

Mr. Clendenen. No, sir ; by group I mean a group of comics that 
all carry the Entertaining Comics label and although they may be 
put out by 2 or 3 different corporations, you lump them all together; 
it is really, for all practical purposes, a single business operation and 


the single business operation in this case is tlie Entertaining Comics. 
Senator Hennings. This legend is very interesting as we read this, 
propaganda. The first sentence: 

Here in America, we can still publish comic magazines, newspapers, slicks, 
books, and the Bible. We don't have to send them to a censor first. Not 
yet * *= * 

Mr. Hannoch (reading) : 

The group most anxious to destroy comics are the Communists. 

That is in the big type, is it not ? 

Mr. Clendenen. Yes, that is the big type. 

Mr. Beaser. No further questions. 

The Chairman. Do my distinguished colleagues have any further 
questions ? 

Thank you very much, Mr. Clendenen. I think your next witness 
is Dr. Harris Peck, is it not. Counsel ? 

Mr. Beaser. Yes. 

The Chairman. Will Dr. Peck come forward, please? 

Doctor, will you be sworn, please ? 

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give to this sub- 
committee of the Connnittee on the Judiciary of the United States 
Senate, will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help yon God ? 

Dr. Peck. I do. 


The Chairman. Doctor, did you have a prepared statement ? 

Dr. Peck. No, I do not. 

The Chairman. Will you proceed to give your testimony in your 
owm manner^ 

Mr. Beaser. I think it might be easier for the Doctor if we had 

The Chairman. Proceed, then. 

Mr. Beaser. Will you state for the record your full name, address, 
present occupation, and title ? 

Dr. Peck. I am Dr. Harris Peck, and I am the director of the 
Bureau of Mental Health Services for the New York City Court of 
Domestic Relations. 

Mr. Beaser. At the children's court ? 

Dr. Peck. That is, the court of domestic relations is comprised of 
two courts, the family court and the children's court. 

Mr. Beaser. Could you give us a little bit of your background? 
You are a psychiati'ist, are you ? 

Dr. Peck. Yes, I have been associated with the court for almost 8 
years, first, as senior psychiatrist in charge of the treatment services, 
and for the past several years I was director of the mental health 

Prior to that I was director of a child-guidance clinic at the General 
Hospital in the city, and was a research and teaching fellow at the 
Bellevue Hospital, New York University Medical Center. 


Mr. Beaser. Were you here this morning when Mr. Clendenen 
testified ? 

Dr. Peck. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. Would you care to give us your opinion on his testi- 
mony, the exhibits he used in relation to the effect of crime and horror 
comics upon children and juvenile delinquency? 

Dr. Peck. I think I should precede my remarks by saying that I 
really cannot pose as an expert in the field of comic books. When I 
was asked to come down I tried to make that clear. 

Perhaps my contribution can be only a very limited one. 

I have worked extensively in the psychiatric treatment of juvenile 
delinquents and in the course of that have had some contact with the 
comic-book situation, but I have made no systematic study of it and 
cannot testify as an expert in that sense. 

I think that my own general view from my experiences with chil- 
dren as seen in a court clinic would lead to the feeling that certainly 
we cannot look to comic books as being a primary causative source for 
juvenile delinquency. 

In that sense I would certainly support Mr. Clendenen's view that 
normal children are not led to crime as we have seen it in the court 
clinic because of reading comic books. 

On the other hand, I certainly do feel that in areas of our city where 
there are many deteriorating influences at work on children which do 
end them up in our court, certainly the comic books may be an aiding 
and abetting influence and may well precipitate some of the concerns 
which have already been set into motion by other forces. 

Also I think I can confirm the fact that many of the children re- 
ceived in our court clinic are quite ])reoccupied with the materials of 
the kinds of comic books that were shown here this morning. 

Mr. Beaser. Doctor, I have heard, or read, the statement that a child 
who is emotionally maladjusted, if that is the cori'ect term, is exactly 
the kind of child who would shun reading a crime or horror comic. 
Is that true from your experience, or are they attracted to it ? 

Dr. Peck. I can say that almost without exception most of the chil- 
dren that we do see at the psychiatric services of the court are reading 
comic books and jnost of them are comics of this description. 

As I said earlier, I have not conducted any systematic study on that 
matter and this is an impression only. 

The Chairman. The children that you refer to. Doctor, are all 
children who are in trouble, are they not ? 

Dr. Peck. That is right. The children we see at our clinic are chil- 
dren who have already been judged delinquent by the children's court. 

Mr. Beaser. Doctor, there Avere two particular stories I wanted to 
call your attention to that which Mr. Clendenen told this morning. 

One I ask him about specifically, the other I did not. One related 
to the child about to be placed in a foster home whose foster parents 
turn out to be vampires or something and the child himself turned out 
to be a werewolf and the other related to the child whose mother was 
running around and her father was a drunkard and who had killed 
in one way or another the parents and the boy friend. 

Would you be able to tell a little bit about the reaction of a normal 
or well-acljusted child to those two kinds of stories assuming these 
stories are typical of the kind the child is reading ? 


Dr. Peck. A fair number of the children whom we see come from 
homes in which there is ah'eady a certain amount of clisi'iiption. Some- 
times this is of a superficial character in that both parents may be 
workinfj and the child is simply left alone a good deal of the time. 

In other instances, the family has been broken up by divorce or 
desertion or there may be one or several parents who are either physi- 
cally or emotionally disturbed. 

I would say from my experience that for such a child, material which 
painted parent figures in a horrendous light that such a child would be 
unusually susceptible to this kind of material because it would play 
into its own phantasies. 

I think it is conceivable that this kind of material, presented in the 
fashion that we see in the comic books, could give an additional thrust 
to other forces already operating on the child. 

Senator Hennings. May I ask Dr. Peck a question at that point? 

The Chairman. You may. 

Senator Hennings. It seems that I recall from reading of Hans 
Christian Anderson and Grimm's Fairy Tales that there were a num- 
ber of those stories that related to the vicious, mean, overbearing step- 
mother, it seems they emphasized the step-relationship. 

Dr. Peck. Yes. 

Senator Hennings. Now, there was a great deal that was pretty 
horrible in some of these things, was there not ? 

Dr. Peck. Yes. 

Senator Hennings. Going back and relating that sort of thing 
which has gone on for many generations by way of reading material 
for the very young and as I have suggested Poe's stories, and. that sort 
of thing, how do w^e distinguish, or can we distinguish between that 
sort of writing which is given to very young children and has been for 
a long time, and this sort of thing about which we are now talking 
today ? 

Dr. Peck. In some regards I think you cannot distinguish. I think 
some of the most vicious, even the very plots as you suggest, are 

It is for that reason that I think some caution must be observed in 
attributing to the comic books a major impetus for delinquency. 

Among the differences, however, is that although characters are 
drawn rather in black and white lines, there is some development of 
character, there is, if you like, some humaneness about the stories, most 
of which are absent in the comic book materials which seem to enlarge 
on the most perverse aspects of the human conscience, at least in the 
kind of materials that were presented here. 

One might also say, although I think someone observed earlier in 
the hearings the earlier materials were illustrated, I think the type 
of illustration that one sees here, especially the highly sexualized ma- 
terial, was largely absent from some of the more classical fairy tale 

Now, I might say that a large group of the youngsters that we see 
in our court would be unable to reach very much of the classical 
fairy tale material because reading disability is so prevalent in this 

So I suspect many of them react even more to the illustrative ma- 
terial than to the printed word, although that is kept at a very simple 


Senator Hennings. Thank yon, Doctor. 

Mr. Beaser. I have jnst one more qnestion, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Proceed, Mr. Beaser. 

Mr. Beaser. Doctor, yon have seen the pages of comic books or any 
illnstratecl magazine used for teaching chiklren what to do. Teach- 
ing them to do good things is what I meant, mental health, hygiene, 
and so forth. 

Is it also possible to utilize the pages of the comics through crime 
and horror so that children learn to do bad things ? 

Dr. Peck. Certainly audiovisual aids are enjoying increasing prom- 
inence in educational techniques. 

I think, as a matter of fact, one of our local correctional institu- 
tions, the New York State School, is using a comic-book type of pres- 
entation for its new arrivals to help orient them to the place and before 
they arrive there they give them some real feeling of what the place 
is about. 

So certainlj^ the comic book, I don't believe, should be devised as 
a form. As to whether or not it can teach bad things, I think A^ery 
largely that depends on who is being taught and what their situation 

I think the children, many of whom need expression, many of whom 
are frustrated, who are in deprived situations, certainly will look to 
the comic books for release and for expression of the kind of violence 
which is being stirred up in them. 

Children who are suffering disturbances in their own family situa- 
tions will be especially susceptible to the kind of material in which 
parent figures engage in all kinds of perverse activities. 

So that I think when one says that they may teach bad things, one 
has to qualify it in that way. 

Mr. Beaser. No further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Doctor, you referred to reading deficiencies in 
respect to the more classical type of fairy tale. Now, these children 
would not have any trouble reading these things, would they, children 
to whom you referred ? 

Dr. Peck. Some would, some would have to look at the pictures. In 
a study of our court population we found that 75 percent of the popu- 
lation who were brought in for other than school difficulties were at 
least 2 years retarded in reading and half of those were 5 years re- 
tarded in reading, which means that a fair number of them were non- 
readers and would barely be able to make out some of the material 
even in the comic books. 

Senator Kefauver. Dr. Peck, do you feel that the stable children 
who could, without doing any harm to themselves read these horror 
and crime comics, usually are the ones that are not reading them, but 
are reading something else and the maladjusted, unstable child who 
ought to be reading something else is usually the one who is found 
with horror and crime comics. Is that the situation ? 

Dr. Peck. I suspect that trend exists. That is not to say that so- 
called normal children may not find some interest in this kind of ma- 
terial and without it necessarily precipitating them into delinquency. 
Certainly, I think we might talk about more or less desirable educa- 
tional materials, and this would certainly be one of the less desirable. 

Senator Kefaitvt.r. Dr. Peck, did you give the subcommittee any 


estimate of the number of children that you have seen from which you 
gain your conchisions ? 

Dr. Peck. We see approximately about 2,000 cases a year at the 
mental health services of the New York City children's court. So I 
think it would be fair to say I have seen about — or through my service, 
we have seen about 15,000 cases over the past 7 or 8 years. 

Senator Kefauver. Do you find about the same conclusions in other 
places of the country ? What you have said New York is typical of, 
happens throngliout the Nation, I take it ? 

Dr. Peck. In regard to what point, Senator ? 

Senator Kefau^t:r. In regard to the effect of horror and crime 

In other words, in your discussion and experience with other psy- 
chiatrists, do you find that they generally agree with you in your con- 
clusions ? 

Dr. Peck. I think as Mr. Clendenen indicated, there is some vari- 
ance in point of view. The point of view I have given here, I think 
you might say, is something of a middle-of-the-road point of view. 
There are those who are very much more concerned about the effect 
of comic books and there are those who discount a good deal more than 
I would be willing to. 

Senator KEFAU^'ER. So you think you are in the middle of the road 
in appraising the matter ? 

Dr. Peck. I think that would be a fair estimate of my position. 

Senator Kefauver. I think you have been very fair in your point of 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. The Senator from Missouri. 

Senator Hennings. Doctor, I know we all appreciate very much 
your coming here and giving us the benefit of your thoughtful con- 
sideration of these things which are of interest to us and which in 
many respects are very complex. 

For example, we are led to believe, are we not, that crimes of vio- 
lence are increasing here and perhaps in England ? 

Dr. Peck. Yes ; that is true. 

Senator Hexnings. Although figures and statistics — and figures 
can be very misleading, can they not ? 

Dr. Peck. Yes. 

Senator Hennings. When we talk about homicides, sometimes it is 
in the course of a robbery, perpetration of a felony ; sometimes as the 
Latin Americans say, a crime of passion, sometimes a sporadic sort 
of thing that does not seem to be accounted for by anything except 
we are people with all the ills that flesh is heir to. 

We know that one of the prime entertainments in England years 
ago was a public hanging, until Charles Dickens and a number of 
reformers of that period abolished public executions and they began 
to hang people behind the walls of penitentiaries. 

We know in this country even today in some communities people 
clamor to get into the death house, or get into where the gallows is 
put up so they can see these things, but by and large we do not let 
the general public view these as spectacles, but they were great sources 
of amusement. Fathers took the family and j^romised the children 
if they were good they would take them to the hanging the next day. 


Now, we have stopped that sort of thing: for the most part. We do 
not have these public evidences of brutality. 

Has that had any effect, good or bad, except as a question of taste 
and general public policy ? 

Dr. Peck. I must confess that in the absence of any adequate study, 
and I am afraid it is a kind of frustrating answer, I would be unable 
to answer in any definitive way. 

However, I think one must differentiate between certain isolated 
phenomena and some, if you like, which are facilitated because they 
fall in with a whole series of other happenings which all go in the 
same direction. 

I think perhaps in part the comic books are a matter of concern, 
because there are other kinds of things which kind of hit Ivids in the 
same way so they become especially significant, I would think. 

Senator Hennings. I do not have an opinion, Doctor, but to me, 
it seemed to be a very interesting field for speculation. We have cut 
out so many of the outward semblances or evidences of brutality, the 
pillory, the stocks, the ducking stool, and the public executions, and 
still we do not seem to, by and large, have done very much about amel- 
iorating violence and that character of crime, have we ? 

Dr. Peck. Yet we must say from our study of very young children 
who are not ill, we do not find any evidence of what you might call an 
inherent destructive impulse in youngsters, as such, and given the 
opportunities for the growth and normal aggression as distinguished 
from destructiveness and hostilitj?^, I think we are almost forced to 
conclude that there is something in the situations which we provide 
children that acts in good part. 

Senator Kefau^^er. I wonder if this would not have something to 
do with it. Dr. Peck. We did not condone public hangings and gen- 
erally they are not legal now, but the number of people who would 
see them compared with the number who would read 25,000 horror 
crime books per month, which are put out, would be many, many times 
those who would get to the place where the hanging took place. 

In other words, there is much wider dissemination and chances to 

Dr. Peck. That is certainly correct. 

Senator Hennings. Over 100,000 used to crowd the hill in London 
outside of the Old Bailey. Families, children, with lunch baskets 
and the pickpockets were working the crowd while they were hanging 

The Chairman. Doctor, do you find that the more serious crime 
is growing among the younger age groups? Is that your experience 
here in New York ? 

Dr. Peck. We have noted in our observations that the court itself 
does report more serious type of delinquency and, in rough kinds of 
studies, we think this probably does correspond with an increasing 
amount of psychosocial disturbance in the youngsters we see. 

The Chairman. That is on the increase? 

Dr. Peck. That seems to be. 

The Chairman. Thank you. Doctor. 

Does counsel have any further questions ? 

Mr. Beaser. No further questions. 


The Chairman. This subcommittee wishes to thank you very much 
for your appearance this morning. You have made a real contribution.. 

Dr. Peck. It has been a privilege to appear. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Henry Schultz. 

The Chairman. Will you be sworn, please ? 

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give to this sub- 
committee of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States 
Senate, will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God? 

Mr. Schultz. I do. 

YORK, N. Y. 

Mr. Beaser. Will you state your name, address, and occupation, 
for the record? 

Mr. Schultz. Henry Edward Schultz. I am an attorney, counsel 
for the Association of Comic Book Publishers. I am at 205 East 42d 
Street here in New York. 

Mr. Beaser. Will you tell us a bit about the association, its past 
and present membership; how it got started, and what its purposes 

Mr. Schultz. I must be a little vague about the precise date because 
I had no contact with it at the time, but my recollection is that it was 
about 6 or 7 years ago that the comic book publishers, almost 90 per- 
cent of them, gathered together in the face of tightening storms of 
criticism and sought to band together to do something about it. 

They organized themselves into a — I would presume you would 
call it— trade association of one kind or another, and under the lead- 
ership of a committee, formulated a code. 

Again I had no hand in that formulation. It was headed a? I re- 
call it, by George Hecht, one of the finer, better publishers in the in- 
dustry, who publishes Parents magazine. 

I think as we look back, it was a sincere effort to bring some begin- 
ning of order out of chaos. Unfortunately, early in the operation of 
that association, some of the larger publishers left it and when I was 
approached — — 

Mr. Beaser. Wlien you first started was it in 1948, 6 or 7 years 

Mr. Schultz. I suspect it is 1948 or 1947. 

Mr. Beaser. Were all tlie publishers members? Did they all 

Mr. Schultz. I think almost without exception, there may have 
been 1 or 2 people who didn't attend those meetings, but as I under- 
stand it, and this is hearsay, 90 percent of the industry were members 
of that original organization that was formed. 

]\Ir. Beaser. Then the association adopted a code and it was after 
the adoption of the code that some members left ; is that it ? 

Mr. Schultz. That is true, but I hasten to add if there is any 
inference in that that they left because of the code, that would be un- 
fair to them. 

The people who left, some of them, are the finest publishers of 
comics in the industry; some of the largest ones. They left for a 


variety of reasons. Some of them felt that they should not be as- 
sociated with some of the elements in the industry that they felt were 
publishing products inferior to theirs and there is also, in passing, 
a great deal of internecine Avarfare in this industry, a lot of old dif- 
ficulties which mitigated a strong, well-knit attempt to organize. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you a copy of the code with you ? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. No, I am sorry. I thought the committee had 

Mr. Beaser. We have one. I would like to offer this, Mr. Chair- 

The Chairman. It will be received and marked for the record and 
incorporated in the record without objection. Let it be exhibit No. 9. 

(The document referred to was marked "'Exhibit No. 9," and reads 
as follows:) 

Exhibit No. 9 

comics code adopted by publishers 

New York, July 1. — The Association of Comics Magazine Publishers today an- 
nounces the adoption of a code of minimum editorial standards. The association 
is now conducting an intensive drive to secure the membership of all the comics 
magazine publishers in the United States and their pledge to abide by the comics 
code. The code will be sent to local societies, civic groups, and distributors of 

The association also announces that it is considering appointing a commis- 
sioner whose function it will be to survey the entire industry in the light of the 
comics code, and to suggest changes, if necessary, as well as to impose restric- 
tions on those members of the association whose magazines do not adhere to the 
particulars of the comics code. Also under consideration is the adoption of a 
seal to be used on comics magazines, the contents of which meet the requirements 
jof the comics code. The code reads as follows: 


The Association of Comics Magazine Publishers, realizing its responsibility to 
the millions of readers of comics magazines and to the public generally, urges 
its members and others to publish comics magazines containing only good, 
wholesome entertainment or education, and in no event include in any magazine 
comics that may in any way lower the moral standards of those who read them. 
In particular : 

(1) Sexy, wanton comics should not be published. No drawing should show a 
female indecently or unduly exposed, and in no event more nude than in a bathing 
suit commonly worn in the United States of America. 

(2) Crime should not be presented in such a way as to throw sympathy against 
law and justice or to inspire others with the desire for imitation. No comics shall 
show the details and methods of a crime committed by a youth. Policemen, 
judges, Government officials, and respected institutions should not be portrayed 
as stupid or ineffective, or represented in such a way as to weaken respect for 
established authority. 

(3) No scenes of sadistic torture should be shown. 

(4) Vulgar and obscene language .should never be used. Slang should be kept 
to a minimum and used only when essential to the story. 

(5) Divorce should not be treated humorously nor represented as glamorous or 

(6) Ridicule of or attack on any religious or racial group is never permissible. 
The association anticipates the support of all publishers in its effort to enforce 

the minimum editorial standards of the comics code. It is pointed out, however, 
that comics magazines are usually prepared at least 3 months before issues go 
on sale, so that practical application of the code may not be evident for a number 
of months. 

The comics magazine publishers who have already agreed to abide by the 
comics code, all of whom are not, however, members of the association, are : 
Premium Service Co., Inc., Famous Funnies, Inc., Hillman Periodicals, Inc., 
Parents' Institute, Inc., Lev Gleason Publications, Inc., McCombs Publications, 


Inc., The Golden Willow Press. Avon Periodicals, Inc., Ace Magazines, Orbit 
Publications, Inc., Superior Comics, Consolidated Magazines, Inc. 

Mr. Beaser. Wliat is your present membership in this association? 

Mr. ScHUi.Tz. AVe have about a dozen members, only three of which 
are publishers, several distributors, some of the printers, and en- 

I say that onr experience in continuing this organization has been a 
study in frustration. When 1 came into the picture some 6 or 7 years 
ago, we had one-tliird of the industry. Since that time there have 
been defections from that very substantially so that today unfortu- 
nately our association represents a very insignificant, small fraction 
of the industry, tliose few diehards who still believethat by some 
miracle the organization of their original premise, which was a pro- 
gram of self-regulation of comics, miglit yet come true. 

Unfortunately it has not happened. 

Mr. Beaser. You say there were defections. Do you have any 
who left because they were not abiding by the code ? 

Mr. SciiuLTz. There were several resignations which were directly 
traceable to the fact that I, as a person of some responsibility in this, 
refused to approve certain magazines and these people felt they 
coidd not live under what they regarded as excessive, kind of narrow, 

JNIr. Beaser. You were enforcing the code, in other words? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. I tried to enforce it on a very practical level. 

Mr. Beaser. flow many publishers were involved? 

Mr. ScHULTz. In the defection ? 

Mr. Beaser. Yes. 

Mr. ScHULTz. I know of two publisliers who left for that very 
specific reason. Others left without giving reasons. I can only 
guess what the motivation may have been. 

Mr. Beaser. Which were the two that had difficulty with respect to 
the code? 

Mr. ScHULTz. One was the Educational Comics. It is now Enter- 
tainment Comics, the Gaines Publishing. 

The other was something called the Avon, and there, again, with 
the proliferation of corporations and names those names cover a 
variety of companies, I presume. 

Mr. Beaser. How do you operate, or how does the association op- 
erate now as contrasted with the past ? Do you screen all the maga- 
zines or comics wliich bear ycur seal of approval ? 

Mr. ScHULTz. Originally when I was approached, the concept was 
to set up a counterpart of the motion-picture production code. We 
had what I still think were good ideas. We got together a commit- 
tee of educators. We had the superintendent of schools here in New 
York; we had the State librarian, some others, as an advisory com- 
mittee to sit in seminars with publishers and educators to raise the 
language content levels, and so on. 

We actually had a procedure. Some people we hired were actually 
reading the comics in the boards; that is, the raw state of the pasted- 
up kind of thing before it gets to the printer. 

When — I guess it is more than 3 years now, perhaps a little longer — 
the defections became so bad we could not afford to continue that kind 
of precensorship arrangement and that has been discarded. Today 


we do no self -regulation at all except as it may exist in the minds of 
the editors and they proceed in their daily work. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, Mr. Schnltz, the comic books, crime and 
horror comic books which today bear the seal of approval of the asso- 
ciation, does not necessarily mean that anybody in the association has 
read them and actually approved of the comics? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. They do not. The association some 3 years ago — the 
few remaining members — adopted a provision in which they agreed 
they would do their own censoring, their own censorship at that point, 
and there is no longer that other process which I described. 

Mr. Beaser. Yet they still do bear the seal of approval ? 

Mr. ScpiuLTz. Yes, they bear the seal now, the concept being that 
in their judgment they conform to that code which has been made 
part of the record. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, in the enforcement of your code, or your regu- 
lations, whatever it is, have you any sanctions whatsoever? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. No ; we have no sanctions. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, the publisher who does not live up to 
your code just goes ahead? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. A publisher who was a member of the association 
who clesired to have the seal on his publication, if he did not conform 
to the recommendations made, would be deprived of the right to use 
the seal. 

Mr. Beaser. I mean right now a person is a member of the asso- 
ciation and puts out a magazine that bears the seal, there is no way, 
is there, in which your organization as a functioning organization 
takes action ? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. We do no checking whatever, none whatever. 

Mr. Beaser. "Were you here this morning, Mr. Schultz ? 

Mr. Schultz. Yes ; I was, right from the very inception. 

Mr. Beaser. Did you see some of the exhibits ? 

Mr. Schultz. Yes; I did. 

Mr. Beaser. Would you say that the ones which showed crime, 
horror and terror, would conform to your articles on crime in the code 
and on sadistic torture which are forbidden under your code? 

Mr. Schultz. Well, it is pretty hard to generalize. First of all, 
I would say when the code was adopted the weird kind of terror 
comics had not been in existence and the committee that formulated 
the code made no provision or reference to it whatever, so that it is 
hard to answer the question technically as to whether it conforms to 
the code. 

My difficulties, however, go beyond the technical. I certainly 
think they violate the spirit and intent of such code and was one of 
the reasons for the defections about which I spoke. 

Mr. Beaser. Would it, in your opinion, violate the provisions of 
that code which says that the objective of the code is to prohibit 
anything which in any way lowers the moral standards of those who 
read them ? 

Mr. Schultz. Now you are getting into an area in which I have 
very limited competence. I have a lot of experience and contact in 
the last 6 years with the whole body of the men who have studied the 
problem and I am as confused asl presume everybody else is about how 
to answer that question. 


My guess is that you will not get any eminent, sound, responsible 
psychiatrist who will make a definitive statement on that subject. 

Mr. Beaser. I was testing the exhibits against the code itself. 

Senator Kefauver. Mr. Chairman, if I may make a suggestion, this 
reads to me like a very excellent code that has been given a great deal 
of thought. If the publishers would follow this code, I do not think 
we would have this problem that we are talking about today. I know 
the code has been made a part of the record, but I would think, so that 
we would know what we are talking about, the paragraph having to 
do with that they recommend be published and what should not be 
published, ought to be read. 

The Chairman. I shall be very glad to have the counsel read that 
portion of the code. 

I, too, want to join in commending the association for that code. It 
is a good code and would do the trick if it were observed. 

Senator Kefau^t^r. Counsel might read the whole thing. It is very 

The Chairman. Counsel, will you read the code ? 

Mr. Beaser. This is something entitled "The Comics Code." 

(Mr. Beaser read "The Comics Code" which appears as "Exhibit 
No. 9" on p. 70.) 

The Chairman. You may proceed. 

Mr. Beaser. I have one more question. You have had some years 
of experience in representing comic-book publishers. In the sale and 
distribution of comic books, are the dealers at the local level required 
by either the wholesaler, the distributor, or the publisher in any way 
to carry crime and horror comic books? 

Mr. ScHULTz. I would say the best answer I could give starts with 
the basis that all magazines, comic books, and all publications of every 
kind and variety are sold on a fully returnable basis. So you start 
with the concept that a dealer who feels the urge not to sell 

Mr. Beaser. A dealer is the man on the street corner? 

Mr. ScHULTz. A retailer. If the retailer desires to avoid selling any 
magazines, either which for political or social or religious or moral 
reasons offends his sensibilities, all he has to do is put them under the 
counter and return them for full credit. 

I would not say there are instances where a roadman representing the 
wholesaler or the distributor in New York, in an effort to perform his 
function, may not urge a dealer to display a comic horror book he 
might not want to, but there is no compulsion legally in any of the 
arrangements that I am aware of in the publishing industry. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you heard of compulsion in the form of either a 
publisher, wholesaler, or distributor saying to dealers that unless they 
carry crime and horror comics that they will not be given other, say, 
more salable magazines ? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. I have not heard that, but I can imagine its happening 
for a different reason. It is very much, Mr. Beaser, like the automo- 
bile business where they have an agency and they would not like the 
agent to prefer to sell only the convertibles. They want him to have a 
full line. 

If a fat distributor, like the American News Co., that distributes 
100 magazines, they prefer a wholesaler to carry their full franchise, 
all of their publications. 


I presume if the point was reached where a wholesaler, by refusing 
to accept publications, or returning them without sale, got to the 
point where his franchise was ineffective and he was not doing a decent 
job for the individual distributor, he might remove the franchise and 
give it to somebody else. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, there is the possibility, then, that if 
a particular dealer in a drugstore does not want to carry some of the 
crime and horror comics and keeps returning certain issues, that he may 
be refused the sale of other magazines by the wholesaler ? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. I can't conceive it happening at the level of the 
retailer. I think it would be very remote. 

Mr. Beaser. It would be likely to happen then at the distributor- 
wholesaler level? 

Mr. ScHULTz. It could happen at the distributor-wholesaler level, 
but I have never heard of its happening. 

Mr. Hannoch. Have you not heard that it is so prevalent that it 
becomes necessary to pass statutes making it illegal to do that very 

Mr. ScHULTz. I know of the statutes that are in existence, Mr. 
Hannoch, I think they pei-haps proceeded on a notion which is different 
from mine. That is, that there is some compulsion in the so-called 
tie-in sale. 

My own experience in tliis industry representing publishers for a 
quarter of a century, would seem to indicate to the contrary. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you think the statutes were passed in various States 
without any reason at all and not to cure an evil ? 

Mr. ScHULTz. I think that the statutes that were passed in Idaho — 
there is one in New York that has just been passed, and there was a 
suggestion of one in New Jersey — were passed as a result of a great 
deal of excitement and hysteria, in my judgment, about this whole 
problem of the impact of the mass media on juvenile delinquency. 

I think they proceed from an erroneous assumption that the tie-in 
sale is a part of the legal mechanism of the distribution business when 
in fact it is not. 

The Chairman. You do agree, Mr. Schultz, that if they would abide 
by this code, if the publishers did abide by this code which was read 
into the record, the trouble would be solved ? 

Mr. ScHTJLTz. I am sure 90 percent of the trouble would be removed. 

The Chairman. At least the dangers would have been eliminated; 
would they not ? 

Mr. Schultz. Yes, except for the dangers that come from, if I may 
just expand on that phase of it — I would hate to feel I came down just 
to tell this story of frustration of the association without at least being 
given the privilege of saying one word about my own views of the 
impact of these comics on this problem. 

I have had the feeling from all I have seen and read, and I have had 
a great deal of contact with it, that there are people who, for motiva- 
tions of their own, some very sincere, some, I think, insincere, have 
made of this comic-book issue a national scandal. 

I think it has been a disservice to the people. I think it has been a 
disservice to the whole problem that this committee is trying to grap- 
ple with, the problem of trying to find the basic impetus. 

The causes of juvenile delinquency are broad, that to do the thing 
that has happened so many times, which is to point to the easiest 


culprit, and say it is the comic book that is responsible for all our 
difficulties, is a very dangerous tiling. 

I am not talking now from the comic-book publishers standpoint. 
I think it detracts from the ability to understand the real basic cause 
of juvenile delinquency. I think it imjjedes intelligent investigation 
into those causes. It gratifies the feelings of parents and others that 
something is being done about it when everybody blames the mass 
media, comics or television or motion pictures. 

I would say from my talking with men who have devoted years to 
a study of this problem that they are all agreed that the tools which 
they have in psychiatry and sociology are still too blunt to enable the 
careful measurement of the kind of answer which might be indicated 
by Mr. Beaser's question. 

They are only beginning to feel their way into this area. 

The Chairman. You realize, of course, Mr. Schultz, that this sub- 
committee is only trying to shed a true light on this problem? 

Mr. Schultz. I would hope, if I may make one plea in conclusion, 
that this committee, in the face of the larger scope of this problem, it 
is a serious, important, difficult problem, could do a great service in 
my judgment if it would, while excoriating the bad taste and the 
vulgarity sometimes bordering on obscenity, that occurs in these 
publications, I think many of the comic-book publishers have failed 
in their duty to mothers to take this great medium which was 7 years 
ago a wonderful vital thing and they have debased it in many ways, I 
think they should be criticized for that. 

But I think the whole problem of comic books and their impact 
must be put in proper focus. How much of an impact all of the mass 
media can make on this problem and what little corner of it the comic 
book occupies is a very difficult measurement to make. 

You start with the Gluecks at Harvard, who have devoted years to 
this work, who tell us in their definitive book that just came out that 
a child's pattern of delinquency is fixed at the age of six. That is 
even before he is exposed to mass media. 

The Chairman. They have been before this subcommittee. 

Mr. Schultz. I did not know they had. But you get an oppor- 
tunity, I think, here in a report to point out that if there is an impact 
it is certainly a small part of the whole and I am hopeful we can lay 
the ghost once and for all of the continued excitement, the frightening 
impact on parents and people all over the country by a few people who 
go about frightening people out of their wits by telling them that all 
the youngsters in the Nation are being turned into little monsters by 
the comic-book industry, which I think is a lot of rubbish. 

Senator KErAU\T:R. I think most of us will agree with you that 
there are dozens and dozens of factors, or contributing factors, in this 
problem, and the subcommittee has been going into various and sundry 
ones. I think you will agree it is proper that we do also consider and 
look at this horror and crime book problem. 

Mr. Schultz, how many do you have left in the association ? 

Mr. Schultz. We have about a dozen members, as I said, of which 
only three are publishers. 

Senator Kefauver. On this code here, you have Premium Service 
Co., Inc. Is that still a member ? 

Mr. Schultz. I don't recognize that name. It is not a jnember. 

49632—54 6 


Senator Kefauver. Famous Funnies ? 

Mr. SciiULTs. Famous Funnies which was the publishers of the first 
comic book that ever appeared, they are still members. 

Senator Kefauver. Hillman Periodicals, Inc. ? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. They are not. 

Senator Kefauat.r. Parents' Institute, Inc. ? 

Mr. ScHiiLTz. They went out of business entirely. 

Senator Kkfauver. (xleason Publications, Inc. ? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. Is still a member. 

Senator Kefauver. McCombs Publications, Inc. ? 

Mr. ScHULTz. They went out of business. 

Senator KEFAin^ER. Golden Willow Press ? 

Mr. ScHULTz. They are not. 

Senator Kefauver. Did they leave the association ? 

Mr. SciiULTZ. I don't remember now. Senator, whether it demised 
or whether they left. 

Senator Kefaipver. Avon Periodicals, Inc. ? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. They left. 

Senator IvEFAinER. Ace Magazines ? 

Mr. ScHULTz. They left. 

Senator Kefau\^er. Orbit Publications, Inc. ? 

Mr. ScHULTz. They left. 

Senator Kefauver. They left ? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. Yes, they left. 

Senator Kefauver. You seemed to say that with a smile. Does 
that have any significance ? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. I don't remember the details of each one of these com- 
panies. Each one was an incident around a busy career on this prob- 
lem, so they bring back all kinds of memories. 

Senator Kefauv^er. Superior Comics ? 

Mr. ScHULTz. Superior Comics, I believe, gave up business, al- 
though I really don't know. 

Seantor Kefaua'er. Consolidated Magazines, Inc. ? 

Mr. ScHuiiTz. They are no longer members. 

Senator Kefauver. I do not see Atlas in this group. 

Mr. ScHULTz. Atlas was a more recently formed company since the 
formulation of that code and Atlas became a member about 2 years 

Senator Kefauver. Is Atlas still a member ? 

Mr. Sghultz. Yes, they are. 

Senator Kefauver. Now, Mr. Schultz, actually, in this association, 
how many employees do you have? 

Mr. Schultz. I presume there are now two of us considered em- 
ployees. We have a man who acts as general secretary and I am gen- 
eral counsel. 

Senator Kefauver. What is the budget of the association? 

Mr. Schultz. We spend about $15,000 a year. 

Senator Kefauver. How many members do you have left in it ? 

Mr. Schultz. About 12. 

Senator Kefauver. So, that two part-time employees — you as gen- 
eral counsel, and one employee — you make no effort really to look over 
and see what they are publishing and you have no sanctions, so actu- 
ally you admit that the association has just about gone out of business ? 


Mr. ScHuLTZ, Yes ; we are now merely a reporting agency. We get 
up that little letter that comes out about once a month in which we 
collect all the clippings all over the Nation criticizing comics and pass 
that on to the industry. We call an occasional industry meeting to talk 
about censorship, some of their problems, taxes, and things of that 
kind, but to all intents and purposes we are out of business on our 
major objective, which was self-regulation. 

Senator Kefauver. As the regulator, or the Landis of the comic- 
book industry, if you were permitted to be, you certainly would not 
permit a lot of these things you see here this morning ? 

Mr. ScHULTz. I not only wouldn't, but I didn't and unfortunately 
they have left the association. 

Senator KJEFAmER. Refusal to go along with your ideas about it is 
the reason the association has only a few members left? 

Mr. ScHULTz. That is not entirely true. The reason it has not suc- 
ceeded, I think, is the failure or refusal of some of the larger and 
better publishers who, while they themselves do not publish comic 
books which might be in this category, did not recognize their responsi- 
bility to the total industry by staying with the organization in its 
inception and formulating practices and rules which would have 
become a bible for the industry. 

Senator Kefauver. Mr. Schultz, it would seem that in the begin- 
ning the publisliers had pretty good judgment because this was started 
back in 1947, just about the time the horror and crime comics got 
underway; was it not? 

Mr. Schultz. I don't believe the horror comics came in, Senator 
Kefauver, until about 3 or 4 years ago. That is my guess. I don't 
think the horror comics were at all in the picture ; nobody knew any- 
thing about them when this code was formulated 7 years ago. 

The crime comics were in existence at that time. 

Senator Kefau^t:r. The code seems to have reference to horror 
comics at that time. "No sense of sadistic torture should be shown," 
"and vulgar and obscene language should never be used." 

In any event, Mr. Schultz, it would seem to be unfortunate that this 
effort that started off so good was not carried on. 

Mr. Schultz. Yes. 

Senator Kefauver. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Senator Hennings. 

Senator Hennings. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

You have a seal of approval, have you, Mr. Schultz ? 

Mr. Schultz. We did have. As I explained before, originally 
the concept was that the seal would only be permitted on publications 
which had gone through this self -regulatory process. It got to the 
point where we went out of business on that concept, and now the 
seal, I presume, means that the person who uses it is a member of 
the association and is conforming in his judgment to the code which 
was adopted. 

Senator Hennings. In other words, he would regulate himself and 
censor his own material and put the seal on ? 

Mr. ScHUi.TZ. That is right. 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Hannoch, our counsel, has suggested that 
there is a seal on one of the exhibits. 

Mr. Beaser. It is that star, is it not, Mr. Schultz ? 

Mr. Schultz. Yes. 


Mr. Hannoch. What does it say ? 

Mr. ScHULTz. I think it says "Conforms to the comics code.'^ 

Senator Kefauver, What publication is that ? 

Mr. ScHULTZ. I never saw that before. 

Mr. Beaser. It is one of the Atlas group. 

Senator KEFAu^' er. I thought you said Atlas was not a member. 

Mr. ScHTTLTz. I said Atlas became a member 2 years ago. 

Senator Kefauver. So you did ; that is right. 

Senator Hennings. Is that seal protected by any copyright ? 

Mr. SciiULTz. No, and I have found on occasion it has been used 
improperly and we had to stop it. We had by remonstration to 
stop them, by writing a letter and urging them to stop it. 

Senator Hennings. You have no \\aj of controlling the use of 
that seal ? 

Mr. ScHULTz. I think we might get an injunction. 

Senator Hennings. You might, but that would be quite a process. 
You would be unlikely to go tlirough that as you are presently oper- 

Mr. ScriULTz. I would think that if somebody used this seal who 
was not a member, improperly, that I could easily get authorization 
from the few diehards who are there to take the necessary action. 

Senator Hennings. But you have never done so ? 

Mr, ScHULTz. Never had to do it. 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Schultz, I am sure that we are all glad that 
you made the statement that you did that there has been, and various 
members of our subcommittee have from time to time in the coui-se of 
these hearings, suggested our awareness of the fact, that there is no 
one single factor that is creating what is known as juvenile delin- 
quency in this country. 

We have consistently, and I believe conscientiously, tried to avoid 
giving the impression or seeming to have arrived upon conclusions 
that would indicate that there is a panacea, there is a cure-all, a golden 
specific, if you do away with comic books we are not going to have 
any trouble with young people getting into trouble, or if you stop 
certain kinds of television programs or movies or even if you clear 
out all of the substandard dwelling places, or if you have hundreds 
of psychiatrists where you have one in certain institutions, or in cer- 
tain agencies, or if you get everybody to go to the 1 MCA or to join 
the Boy Scouts or the Girl Scouts, you are not going to have any more 

I think we all have approached our problem here certainly with 
that basic premise that we do not expect to find that there is one thing 
or another thing. 

]\Iany things are cumulative. Many things are incalculable and 
imponderable in this subject and I think the more we have seen of this 
during the past several months when we have been holding our hear- 
ings and reading upon the subject, the more we are keenly conscious 
of the fact that the ramifications and complexities of this are .at times 
seemingly almost insupportable. 

But we are still trying and we did not come here in any effort, 
through sensationalism, by bringing people in to subject them to in- 
quisitions, to make it appear that we necessarily believe that this 
particular phase of activity is or is not hurtfuf or a contributing 


We just do not know. We are trying to learn. 

I, for one, appreciate the spirit in which you have come here today. 

Mr. ScHULTz. Thank you, sir. 

The Chairman. Mr. Schultz, the Chair certainly appreciates the 
spirit of your testimony. You have been very helpful. I think I 
speak for every member of the subcommittee when I say we are 

Senator Kefattver. Mr. Chairman, may I ask one more question? 

The Chairman. Senator Kef auver. 

Senator Kefauver. Those who carry the seal of the code, do they 
advertise inside the magazine that they are complying with the code 
of the Comic Magazine Publishers Association ? 

Mr. ScHDLTz. I know of no such specific advertisement, other than 
the impression of the seal itself on the cover. 

Senator Kefauver. How do people know what that seal means, 

Mr. ScHULTZ. I really don't know. Most of the publishers who 
are nonmembers develop seals of their own. You find a whole series 
of seals which say "Good clean reading,"' and everything else, so that 
the seal has lost its imprint and its value in many ways anyhow, 
except for somebody who takes the trouble to look very closely at that 
little legend that might have some meaning to it. 

Other than that I think it has no value. 

Senator Kefauver. Thank you very much. 

The Chairman. The subcommittee will stand in recess until 2 
o'clock this afternoon. 

(Thereupon, at 12 : 20 p. m., the subcommittee recessed, to recon- 
vene at 2 p. m., same day.) 

afternoon session 

The subcommittee reconvened at 2 o'clock p. m., upon the expira- 
tion of the recess. 

The Chairman. The hearing will be in order. 

The first witness this afternoon will be Dr. Frederic Wertham. 

Doctor, will you come forward and be sworn, please. 

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give this sub- 
committee of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States 
Senate, will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God ? 

Dr. Wertham. I do. 


The Chairman. Doctor, do you have a prepared statement? 
Dr. Wertham. I have a statement of about 20 or 25 minutes. 
The Chairman. All right, Doctor, you proceed in your own manner. 
Dr. Wertham. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Doctor, do you have copies of your statement? 
Dr. Wertham. It is not written out. I have a statement of my 


The Chairman. I wonder if you could not in your own way sum- 
marize this for the record. Of course, the whole statement may go 
in the record in its entirety. 

Without objection, that will be so ordered. 

(The document referred to is as follows :) 

Frederic Wertham, M. D., New York, N. Y. 

Specializing in neurology and psychiatry since 1D22. 

Certified as specialist in both neurology and psychiatry by the American Board' 
of Psychiatry and Neurology. Have also served as examiner on the board in 
brain anatomy and psychiatry. 

Director, Lafargue Clinic, New York City. 

Consulting psychiatrist, department of hospitals, Queens Medical Center, New 
York City. 

Psychiatric consultant and lecturer, Juvenile Aid Bureau of the Nevp York 
City Police Department. 

Director, Psychiatric Services and Mental Hygiene Clinic, Queens General 
Hospital, 1939-52. 

Consulting psychiatrist, Triboro Hospital, New York City, 1939-52. 

Director, Quaker Emergency Service Readjustment Center (functioning under 
the magistrates court), 1948-51. 

Senior psychiatrist, New York City Department of Hospitals, 1932-.52. 

In 19.32 organized and became director of the Psychiatric Clinic of the Court 
of General Sessions in New York, first clinic of its kind in the United States. 

1933-36, assistant to the director of Bellevue Hospital; in charge of prison' 
ward ; in charge of children's psychiatric ward ; in charge of alcoholic ward. 

1936-39, director of the Mental Hygiene Clinic of Bellevue Hospital. 

1929-31, fellow of the National Research Council of Washington, D. C, to do ■ 
research in neuroiiathology and neuropsychiatry. First psychiatrist ever to 
receive this fellowship. 

1922-29, psychiatrist at Phipps Psychiatric Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital 
and Johns Hopkins University. 

392()-28, chief resident psychiatrist, Johns Hopkins Hospital. 

1926-29, assistant in charge of the Mental Hygiene Clinic, Johns Hopkins.- 

Taught psychiatry, psychotherapy, and brain anatomy at Johns Hopkins Medi- 
cal School. 

Postgraduate studies in London, Vienna, Paris, and Munich. Invited to read 
scientific papers at the INIedical-Psychological Society of Paris and the Research' 
Institute of Psychiatry in Munich. 

President of the Association for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, 1943-51 ; 
coeditor of the American .Journal of Psychotherapy. 

Member of the Committee on Ethics of the American Academy of Neurology. 

Lectured at Yale Law School, New York University Law School, Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, on psychiatry, criminology, and related subjects. 

Reviewed books for law reviews of New York University, Buffalo Law School, 
Nox'thwestern Law School, etc. 

Psychiatric consultant to the Chief Censor of the United States Treasury 

Only psychiatrist ever employed by the city of New York who is a member of 
all three national neuropsychiatric associations : American Neurological Asso- 
ciation, American Psychiatric Association, American Association of Neuropathol- 
ogists. Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, of the American Academy 
of Neurology, of the American Medical Association, etc. 


The Brain as an Organ (Macmillan, 1934), used in medical schools throughout 
the world, a textbook of brain pathology. 

Dark Lesrend. A study in murder. New York, 1941, and London, 1948. 

The Show of Violence (Doubleday, 1949). 

The Catathymic Crisis (1937), description of a new mental disorder now in- 
cluded in the leading textbooks of psychiatry. 

Seduction of the Innocent (Rinehart, 1954). 

Articles and papers on psychology, psychiatry, neurology, brain anatomy, eti.. 


Dr. Wertham. I have practiced psychiatry and neurology since 
1922. I taught psychiatry and brain pathology and worked in clinics 
at the Johns Hopkins Medical School from 1922 to 1929. 

In 1929 I was the first psychiatrist to be awarded a fellowship by 
the National Research Council to do research on the brain. Some part 
of my research at that time was on paresis and brain syphilis. It came 
in good stead when I came to study comic books. 

From 1932 to 1952 I was senior psychiatrist at the New York City 
Department of Hospitals. 

I was first in charge of the Psychiatric Clinic of the Court of Gen- 
eral Sessions examining convicted felons, making reports to the court. 

In 1936 I was appointed director of the Mental Hygiene Clinic in 

In 1939 I was appointed director of ps.ychiatric services at the 
Mental Hygiene Clinic at Queens General Hospital. 

In 1946 I organized and started the first psychiatric clinic in Har- 
lem, a volunteer staff. A few years later I organized the Quaker 
Em.ergency Mental Hygiene Clinic, which functioned as a clinic for 
the treatment of sex offenders under the magistrates court of New 

These are my main qualifications. I have taught psychiatry in 
Hopkins and New York University. 

I have written both books and papers and monogi'aphs. I have 
reviewed psychiatric books for legal journals, like the Buffalo School 

I have lectured at tlie Yale Law School, at the Massachusetts Insti- 
tute of Technology, and in other places. 

I am a fellow of the New York Academy and a member of the 
three national neuropsychiatric associations, the American Psychiatric 
As-sociation and American Neurological Association and American 
Association of Neuropathologists. 

I am testifying at your request o]i the influence of crime and horror 
books on juvenile delinquency. 

My testimony will be in four parts. First, what is in comic books? 
How can one classify them clinically ? 

Secondly, are there any bad effects of comic books? 

I may say here on this subject tliere is practically no controversy. 
Anybody who has studied them and seen them knows that some of 
them have bad effects. 

The third problem is how f arreaching are these bad effects ? There 
is a good deal of controversy about that. 

A fourth part is : Is there any remedy ? 

And being merely a doctor, about that I shall say only a few words. 

My opinion is based on clinical investigations which I started in the 
winter of 1945 and 1946. They were carried out not by me alone, but 
with the help of a group of associates, psychiatrists, child psychiatrists, 
psychoanalysts, social workers, psychiatric social workers, remedial 
reading teachers, probation officers, and others. 

In addition to material seen at the clinic both at Queens and La- 
fargue, we have studied whole school classes, whole classes of remedial 
reading clinics, over 300 children in a parochial school and private 
patients and consultations. 

To the best of my knowledge our study is the first and only individ- 
ual large-scale study on the subject of comic books in general. 


The methods that we have used are the ordinary methods used in 
psychiatry, clinical interviews, group intei-^dews, intelligence tests, 
reading tests, projective tests, drawings, the study of dreams, and 
so on. 

This study was not subsidized by anybody. None of my associates 
got any money, ever. I myself have never spoken on the subject of 
comic books and accepted a fee for that. 

This research was a sober, painstaking, laborious clinical study, 
and in some cases, since it has been going on now for 7 years, we have 
had a chance to follow for several years. 

In addition to that we have read all that we could get hold of that 
was written in defense of comics, which is almost a more trying task 
than reading the comic books themselves. 

What is in comic books ^ In the first place, we have completely 
restricted ourselves to comic books themselves. That leaves out news- 
paper comic strips entirely. 

I must say, however, that when some very harmless comic strips 
for children printed in newspapers are reprinted for children in 
comic books, you suddenly can find whole pages of gun advertise- 
ments which the newspaper editor would not permit to have inserted 
in the newspaper itself. 

There have been, we have found, arbitrary classifications of comic 
books according to the locale where something takes place. 

We have found that these classifications don't work if you want to 
understand what a child really thinks or does. 

We have come to the conclusion that crime comic books are comic 
books that depict crime and we have found that it makes no dif- 
ference whether the locale is western, or Superman or space ship or 
horror, if a girl is raped she is raped whether it is in a space ship or on 
the prairie. 

If a man is killed he is killed whether he comes from Mars or some- 
where else, and we have found, therefore, two large groups, the crime 
comic books and the others. 

I would like to illustrate my remarks by western comic books by 
giving you an example. This is from an ordinary western comic book. 
You might call it the wide open spaces. 

This is from an ordinary western comic book. You see this man 
hitting this girl with a gun. It is a sadistic, criminal, sexual scene. 

We have also studied how much time children spend on crime comic 
books and how much money they spend. I should like to tell you that 
there are thousands of children who spend about $60 a year on comic 

Even poor children. I don't know where they get the money. I 
have seen children who have spent $75 a year and more, and I, myself, 
have observed when we went through these candy stores in different 
places, not only in New York, how 1 boy in a slum neighborhood, 
seemingly a poor boy, bought 15 comic books at a time. 

Now, people generalize about juvenile delinquency and they have 
pet theories and they leave out how much time, and, incidentally, how 
much money children spend on this commodity alone. 

Now, as far as the effects on juvenile delinquency are concerned, 
we distinguish four groups of delinquency : 


Delinquencies against property; delinquency associated with vio- 
lence; offenses connected with sex, and then miscellaneous, consisting 
of fire setting, drug addiction, and childhood prostitution. 

I may say the latter is a very hushed-up subject. I am not referring 
to what young girls do with young l)oys, but I am referring to 10-, 11-, 
12-, 13-year-old girls prostituting themselves to adults. 

Now, nobody versed in any of this type of clinical research would 
claim that comic books alone are the cause of juvenile delinquency. 
It is my opinion, without any reasonable doubt, and without any 
reservation, that comic iDOoks are an important contributing factor 
in many cases of juvenile delinquency. 

There arises the question: What kind of child is affected? I say 
again without any reasonable doubt and based on hundreds and hun- 
dreds of cases of all kinds, that it is primarily the normal child. 

Mr. Chairman, American children are wonderful children. If we 
give them a chance they act right. It is senseless to say that all these 
people who get into some kind of trouble with the law must be ab- 
normal or there must be something very wrong with them. 

As a matter of fact, the most morbid children that we have seen 
are the ones who are less affected by comic books because they are 
wrapped up in their own phantasies. 

Now, the question arises, and we have debated it in our group very 
often and very long, why does the normal child spend so much time 
with this smut and trash, we have this baseball game which I would 
like you to scrutinize in detail. 

They play baseball with a deadman's head. Why do they do that 2 

The' Chairman. Doctor, do you want to put this up here on exhibi- 
tion and explain it? 

Dr. Wertham. Yes, sir, 

Mr. Chairman, I can't explain for the reason that I can't say all the 
obscene things that are in this picture for little boys of 6 and 7. This 
is a baseball game where they play baseball with a man's head ; where 
the man's intestines are the baselines. All his organs have some part 
to play. 

The torso of this man is the chest protector of one of the players.. 
Ihere is nothing left to anybody's morbid imagination. 

Mr. Beaser. That is from a comic book? 

Dr. Wertham. That is from a comic book. 

I will be glad to give you the reference later on. It is a relatively 
recent one. 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Chairman, may I ask the doctor a question 
at that point? 

The Chairman, The Senator from Missouri. 

Senator Hennings, Doctor, I think from what you have said so far 
in terms of the value and effectiveness of the artists who portray these 
things, that it might be suggested implicitly that anybody who can 
draw that sort of thing would have to have some very singular or 
peculiar abnormality or twist in his mind, or am I wrong in that ? 

Dr, Wertham. Senator, if I may go ahead in my statement, I would 
like to tell you that this assumption is one that we had made in the 
beginning and we have found it to be wrong. We have found that 
this enormous industry with its enormous profits has a lot of people 
to whom it pays money and these people have to make these drawings 


or else, just like the crime comic book writers have to write the stories 
they write, or else. There are many decent people among them. 

Let me tell you among the writers and among the cartoonists — they 
don't love me, but I know that many of them are decent people and they 
would much rather do something else than do wiiat they are doing. 

Have I answered your question ? 

Senator Henistings. Yes, thank you. 

Dr. Wertham. Now, we ask the question : Why does the normal child 
do that? I would say that psychology knows the answer to that. 

If you consult, as we have done, the first nrodern scientific psycholo- 
gist who lived a long time ago, you will find the answer. That psy- 
chologist was St. Augustine. This was long before the comic book 
era, of course, but he describes in detail how when he was a very, very 
young man he was in Rome and he saw these very bloody, sadistic spec- 
tacles all around him, where the gladiators fought each other with 
swords and daggers, and he didn't like it. He didn't want any part 
of it. 

But there was so much going on and his friends went and finally he 
went and he noticed, as he expresses it, that he became unconsciously 
delighted with it and he kept on going. 

In other words, he was tempted, he was seduced by this mass ap- 
peal, and he Avent. 

I think it is exactly the same thing, if the cliildren see these kinds 
•of things over and over again, they can't go to a dentist, they can't go 
to a clinic, they can't go to a ward in a hospital, everywhere they 
see this where women are beaten up, where people are shot and killed, 
and finally they become, as St. Augustine said, unconsciously de- 

I don't blame them. I try to defend them or I try to understand 

Now, it is said also in connection with this question of who reads 
comic books and who is aifected by them, it is said that children from 
secure homes are not affected. 

Mr. Chairman, as long as the crime comic books industry exists in 
its present forms there are no secure homes. You cannot resist in- 
fantile paralysis in your own home alone. Must you not take into 
account the neighbor's children ? 

I might give one more examj^le of the brutality in comic books. 
This is a girl and they are about to rip out her tongue. Now, the 
effect of comic books operates along four lines. While in our studies 
we had no arbitrary age limit, I am mostly interested in the under 
16 and the first effect that is very early manifested is an effect in 
general on the whys of living with people. 

That is to say, on theoretical development. One of the outstand- 
ing things there is in crime comic books — let me say here subject to 
later questions that in my opinion crime comic books as I define them, 
are the overwhelming majority of all comic books at the present time. 
There is an endless stream of brutality. 

I would take up all your time if I would tell you all the brutal 
things. I would like to draw your attention to one which seems to 
be specific almost with this literature that I have never found any- 
where else, that is injuring people's eyes. 


In other words, this is something now which juvenile delinquents 
did which I never heard of years ago. They shoot people in the eye 
and they throw stones and so on. 

As an example, I would give you a book which nobody would 
testify is a crime comic book if you had not read it. You all know 
tlie novels of Tarzan which you all saw in the movies, but the comic 
book Tarzan which any mother would let come into her home has a 
story which a little boy brought me in which 22 people are blinded. 

One of the 22 is a beautiful girl. They are all white people who 
are blinded and the man who does it is a Negro, so in addition to that 
it causes a great deal of race hatred. 

How old are the children to whom such things are given? Dell 
Publisliing Co., wliich publishes tliis book, boasts that this story is 
being read aloud to a little girl who — she is 2 years old — now, of 
•course, many other crime comic books have this injury to the eye 

In other words, I think that comic books primarily, and that is the 
greatest harm they do, cause a great deal of ethical confusion. 

I would like to give you a very brief example. There is a school in 
a town in New York State where there has been a great deal of steal- 
ing. Some time ago some boys attacked another boy and they twisted 
Ms arm so viciously that it broke in two places, and, just like in a 
comic book, the bone came through the skin. 

In the same school about 10 days later 7 boys pounced on another boy 
and pushed his head against the concrete so that the boy was uncon- 
scious and had to be taken to the hospital. He had a concussion of 
the brain. 

In tliis same high school in 1 year 26 girls became pregnant. The 
score this year, I think, is eight. Maybe it is nine by now. 

Now, Mr. Chairman, this is what I call ethical and moral confusion. 
I don't think that any of these boys or girls individually vary very 
much. It cannot be explained individually, alone. 

Here is a general moral confusion and I think that these girls were 
seduced mentally long before they were seduced physically, and, of 
course, all those people there are very, very great — not all of them, 
but most of them, are very great comic book readers, haA^e been and are. 

As a remedy they have suggested a formal course of sex instruction 
in this school. 

Tlie Chairman. What is the population of this community. Doctor? 

Dr. Wertham. I don't know the population of the community. I 
know the population of the school, which is about 1,800. The town 
itself I don't know, but I shall give it to counsel. 

The Chairman, The Senator from Tennessee. 

Senator Ketaia^er. Is there something confidential about the name 
of the town ? 

Dr. Wertham. Yes. Publicly I don't like to give it, but I have 
knowledge of it, but I will give it to counsel for the information of 
the committee. 

The Chairman. That will be in order. 

Dr. Wertham. Now, they tried to start a course of sex instruction 
in this school. They have not done it. They have not started it. I 
wonder what they are going to do. Are the teachers going to instruct 
the pupils, or are the pupils going to instruct the teachers ? 


One reason I don't want to mention this town is because the same 
kind of thing happens in many other places nowadays. Maybe not 
quite so much, maybe a little more. 

Many of these things happen and it is my belief that the comic book 
industry has a great deal to do with it. While I don't say it is the 
only factor at all, it may not be the most important one, it is one con- 
tributing factor. 

I would like to point out to you one other crime comic book which 
we have found to be particularly injurious to the ethical development 
of children and those are the Superman comic books. They arose in 
children phantasies of sadistic joy in seeing other people punished 
over and over again while you yourself remain immune. We have 
called it the Superman complex. 

In these comic books the crime is always real and the Superman's 
triumph over good is unreal. Moreover, these books like any other, 
teach complete contempt of the police. 

For instance, they show you pictures where some preacher takes two 
policemen and bang tlieir heads together or to quote from all these 
comic books — you know, you can call a policeman cop and he won't 
mind, but if you call him copper that is a derogatory term and these 
boys we teach them to call policemen coppers. 

All this to my mind has an eifect, but it has a further effect and 
that was very well expressed by one of my research associates who 
was a teacher and studied the subject and she said, "Formerly the 
child wanted to be like daddy or mommy. Now they skip you, they 
bypass you. They want to be like Superman, not like the hard 
working, prosaic father and mother." 

Talking further about the ethical effects of comic books, you can 
read and see over and over again the remark that in crime comic 
books good wins over evil, that law and order always prevails. 

We have been astonished to find that this remark is repeated and 
repeated, not only by the comic books industry itself, but by educators, 
columnists, critics, doctors, clergymen. Many of them believe it is so. 

Mr. Chairman, it is not. In many comic books the whole point is 
that evil triumphs ; that you can commit a perfect crime. I can give 
you so many examples that I would take all your time. 

I will give you only one or two. Here is a little 10-year-old girl 
who killed her father, brought it about that her mother was electro- 
cuted. She winks at you because she is triumphant. 

I have stories where a man spies on his wife and in the last picture 
you see him when he pours the poison in the sink, very proud because- 
he succeeded. 

There are stories where the police captain kills his wife and has an 
innocent man tortured into confessing in a police station and again 
is triumphant in the end. 

I want to make it particularly clear that there are whole comic books 
in which every single story ends with the triumph of evil, with a per- 
fect crime unpunished and actually glorified. 

In connection with the ethical confusion that these crime comic 
books cause, I would like to show you this picture which has the comic 
book philosophy in the slogan at the beginning, "Friendship is for 
Suckers! Loyalty — that is for Jerks." 

The second avenue along which comic books contribute to de- 
linquency is by teaching the technique and by the advertisements for 


■weapons. If it Avere my task, Mr. Chairman, to teach children de- 
linquency, to tell them how to rape and seduce girls, how to hurt 
people, how to break into stores, how to cheat, how to forge, how to 
do any known crime, if it were my task to teach that, I would have to 
enlist the crime comic book industry. 

Formerly to impair the morals of a minor was a punishable offense. 
It has now become a mass industry. I will say that every crime of de- 
linquency is described in detail and that if you teach somebody the 
technique of something you, of course, seduce him into it. 

Nobody would believe that you teach a boy homosexuality without 
introducing him to it. The same thing with crime. 

For instance, I had no idea how one would go about stealing from 
a locker in Grand Central, but I have comic books which describe 
that in minute detail and I could go out now and do it. 

Now, children who read that, it is just human, are, of course, tempted 
to do it and they have done it. You see, there is an interaction be- 
tween the stories and the advertisements. Many, many comic books 
have advertisements of all kinds of weapons, really dangerous ones, 
like .22 caliber rifles or throwing knives, throwing daggers ; and if a 
boy, for instance, in a comic book sees a girl like this being whipped 
and the man who does it looks very satisfied and on the last page there 
is an advertisement of a whip with a hard handle, surely the maximum 
of temptation is given to this boy, at least to have fantasies about 
these things. 

It is my conviction that if these comic books go to as many millions 
•of children as they go to, that among all these people who have these 
fantasies, there are some of them who carry that out in action. 

Mr. Beaser. Doctor, may I interrupt you just a moment to go back 
to your Grand Central story ? 

Assume that is read by an otherwise healthy, normal child, with a 
good homelif e, no other factors involved — would you say that that 
would tempt him to go and break into a locker in Grand Central, or 
must there be other factors present already to give him a predisposi- 
tion to steal from somebody else ? 

Dr. Wertham. I would answer that this way : I know of no more 
erroneous theory about child behavior than to assume that children 
must be predisposed to do anything wrong. I think there is a hair- 
line which separates a boy who dreams about that, dreams about such 
a thing, and the boy who does it. 

Now, I don't say, and I have never said, and I don't believe it, that 
the comic-book factor alone makes a child do anything. 

You see, the comic-book factor only works because there are many, 
many other factors in our environment, not necessarily the homelife, 
not necessarily the much-blamed mother, but there are many other 
things; the other boys in school, the newspaper headlines where every- 
body accuses the other one of being a liar or thief. 

There are many, many other factors in our lives, you see. 

Now, actually, the answer should be put in this way : In most cases 
this factor works with other factors, but there are many cases that I 
know where such crimes have been committed purely as imitation and 
would have never been committed if the child hadn't known this 

In other words, I want to stress for you wdiat we have found, that 
the temptation, and, of course, we know it from our ordinary lives — 


that temptation and seduction is an enormous factor. We don't have 
to be materially bad to do something bad occasionally, and, moreover, 
these children' who commit such a delinquency, they don't do that 
because they are bad. They don't even necessarily do it to get the 
money or to get even, but it is a glorious deed. 

You go there, you show how big you are. You are almost as big 
as these people you read about in crime comic books. 

You see, the corruption of the average normal child has gone so 
far that except for those who follow this it is almost unbelievable to 

I would like to give you one more example. This is one I would 
like you to keep in mind, that the minimum edition of such a book. 
I think, is 300,000; probably this is distributed in a 650,000 edition. 

Senator Kefauver. I did not understand. 

Dr. Wektham. The minimum is 300,000. 

Senator Kefauver. Is that a month? 

Dr. Wertham. This is only one comic book. In order to make any 
kind of profit the publisher must print about 300,000 copies. 

In other words, when you see a comic book you can always assume 
that more than 300,000 copies of this particular comic book have been 

In other words, you would not go far wrong if you assumed that 
this comic book is read by half a million children, for this reason, that 
when they are through with it and have read it, they sell it for 6 cents 
and 5 cents and then sell it for 4 cents and 2 cents. 

Then you can still trade it. 

So these comic books have a long, long life. We have studied this 
market. We know there is a great deal of this trading going on all 

Now, this is a heroine. This is a woman who kills a man. You see, 
he has blood coming all over the man's face and she says, " I want you 
to suffer more and more and more and more." 

Then the final triumph, she takes this man's organs and serves 
them up as dishes like a housewife and you see her "famous fried 
brains, famous baked kidneys, famous stuffed heart." 

Next to that is the remainder of this man. 

All I say is that quite apart from the disgust that it arouses in us — 
and I am a doctor, I can't permit myself the luxury of being dis- 
gusted — I think this kind of thing that children see over and over 
again causes this ethical confusion. 

Senator Kefauver. That seems to be the end of that comic book 

Dr. Wertham. Yes. I should add that it says here, "The End." 
"The End" is this glorious meal, cannibalism. 

Senator Kefauver. So it did not have a very happy ending. 

Dr. AVertiiam. Well, the comic book publishers seem to think it 
did. They made a lot of money. 

Mr. Chairman, we have delinquency of the smallest kind. I have 
seen children who have stolen a quarter. I have seen children who 
stole $30,000. And they have to know some technique; they have to, 
for that. 

But there are other crimes which you can commit in which you can 
take the ordinary kind of violence, for instance, there is an awful lot 


of shooting, knifing, throwing rocks, bombs, and all that, in combina- 

On the Long Island Railroad at present I think three times a day 
children throw rocks through the windows. 

Eecently an innocent man was hit in the head and had a concussion 
of the brain and had to be taken to a hospital. 

I have been for 12 years in Queens. I know these kids. I have seen 
quite a number of them who threw rocks. I can't see why we have 
to invoke highfaluting psychological theories and w^iy we say theso 
people have to have a mother who doesn't give them enough affection. 

If they read this stuff all the time, some of them 2 and 3 hours a day 
reading, I don't think it is such an extraordinary event if they throw 
a stone somewhere where it may do some harm. 

I want to add to this that my theory of temptation and seduction 
as I told you, is very, very vague. That is known to the comic-book 
publishers, too. They don't admit it when it comes to delinquency, 
but when it comes to selling stuff to children through the advertise- 
ments in comic books, then they have these enormous advertisements. 
This is from the Superman comic book. It says, 'Tt is easier to put a 
yen in a youngster." 

You see, I am still answering your question. It is easier to put a yen 
in a youngster w4ien he comes from a normal thing. It is easier to 
go and commit some kind of delinquency. 

Certainly it is easier to commit some kind of sexual delinquency. 

Now, this leads me to the third avenue where they do harm. That 
is, they do harm by discouraging children. Mr. Chairnum, many of 
these comic books, crime-comic books, and many of the other ones have 
ads which discourage children and give them all kinds of inferiority 
feelings. They are threatened with pimples. They worry the pre- 
adolescent kids about their breaths. Tliey sell them all kinds of 
medicines and gadgets and even comic books like this one, and I am 
very conscious of my oath, even comic books like this have fraudulent 
advertisements, and I am speaking now as a medical physician. The 
children spend a lot of money and they get very discouraged, they 
think they are too big, too little, or too heavy. They think this bump 
is too big, or too little. 

These discouraged children are very apt to commit delinquency as 
we know and have known for a lon|j time. 

Now, the fourth avenue I shall not go into in detail bf^cause that in- 
cludes not only the crime-comic books, but that includes all comic 

We have found — and in response to questions I will be glad to go 
into that — we have found all comic books have a very bad effect on 
teaching the youngest children the jiroper reading technique, to learn 
to read from left to right. This balloon print pattern prevents that. 
So many children, we say they read comic books, they don't read 
comic books at all. They look at pictures and every once in a while, 
as one boy expresed it to me, "When vliey get the woman or kill the man 
then I try to read a few words," but in any of these stories you don't 
have to have any words. 

There is no doubt this is blood and this man is being killed. There 
is no doubt what they are going to do to this girl, you know, too. 

In other words, the reading is very much interfered with. 

The Chairman. Doctor, the original of all of those are in color? 


Dr. Wertham. Yes, these are photostats I had made for your 

Now, it is a known fact, although it is not sufficiently emphasized, 
that many delinquents have reading disorders, they can't read well. 
There have been estimates as to how many delinquents have reading 

We have found over and over again that children wdio can't read 
are very discouraged and more apt to commit a delinquency and that 
is what Mr. Beaser meant, if there is another factor. 

There is another factor. 

Mr. Beaser. Many other factors. 

Dr. Wertham. Yes, many other factors. We have isolated comic 
books as one factor. A doctor tries to isolate one factor and see what 
it does and tries to correlate it with other factors which either coun- 
teract it or help it or run parallel. 

Now, Mr. Chairman, I have put the results of this investigation into 
several documents. One of them is an article in the Ladies Home 
Journal which gives a number of cases. 

Another one is an article in the Eeader's Digest which came out 

The thi rd one is a book. 

I would like, Mr. Chairman, to draw your attention to the illus- 
trations, but I would like to say that I am perfectly willing inasmuch 
as I have written this book with the greatest scientific care and 
checked and rechecked, and I am perfectly willing to repeat every 
word in there under oath. 

The Chairman. Doctor, these documents will be made a part of the 
subcommittee's permanent file, without objection. Let that be exhib- 
its Nos. 10a, 10b, and 10c. 

(The documents referred to were marked "Exhibits Nos. 10a, 10b, 
and 10c," and are on file with the subcommittee.) 

Dr. Wertham. Mr. Chairman, I would like to point out to you in 
conclusion that mine, in my own opinion, is not a minority report. I 
don't feel that way. 

I would like to tell you that the highest psychiatric official in the 
Federal Covernment, who is also consulted when psychiatric problems 
come up in the Federal Government, Dr. Winfred Overholser, the Su- 
perintendent of Saint Elizabeths, has written that the evidence in my 
book is incontrovertible evidence of the pernicious influences on youth 
of crime comic books. 

Prof. C. Wright Milt, a famous sociologist, a professor at Columbia, 
similarly agreed. 

I would like to read you a word from the director of the juvenile 
delinquency project of the Children's Bureau in Washington, wdio has 
written : 

In comic boolcs we have a constant stream of garbage that cannot fail to pol- 
lute the minds of readers. After reading Dr. Wertham's book I visited my local 
newsstand and found the situation to be exactly as he reported it. 

Senator Kefatjver. Wlio is it that wrote that ? 

Dr. Wertham. Mr. Bertram M. Peck, the director of the current 
juvenile delinquency project in Washington. 

The Chairman. He was before the subcommittee earlier in the hear- 


Dr. Wertham. Now, there are quite a number of other people who 
feel the same way. I would like to quote to you what the Minister of 
Justice of Canada said. In the beginning of this month they had two 
long sessions in the House of Commons, devoted almost entirely to my 
report on comic books and the Minister of Justice said : 

I doubt if there is a sin2;le member of the House of Commons who dissents from 
disapproval of crime comic books. 

In Canada, of course, they have the same situation. They get 
American comic books, not only directly, but they get them in plates. 
They can't help themselves. 

Senator Kefauver. Dr. Wertham, while you are on the Canadian 
matter, Canada, of course, has a law, which was probably passed 
largely on the testimony you gave the House of Commons in Canada, 
which bans the shipment of certain horror and crime books. 

What has been their experience with the reflection, or the result of 
that law upon juvenile delinquency? When was the law passed first? 

Dr. Wertham. I am not quite sure. Maybe 1951. The informa- 
tion I have is based on the present official report of these debates on 
April 1 and 2. I judge from that that the law didn't work; that they 
made a list of crime comic books and they didn't know how to supervise 
it, in fact, they couldn't, and I doubt it can be done in that form. 

They have more bad crime-comic books than they ever had. They 
never could get them off the stand. 

The latest proposal on the 2cl of April that I have is that they want 
to put the crnne comic-book publishers in jail, but they can't do that, 
for one thing — we have them. 

I don't think that would work. So that experiment is not yet com- 
pletely evaluated. All I know is that they are very much worried 
about the effect of comic books on delinquency, tliat they have not been 
able by this one amendment to the criminal code to curb this situation. 

Stating that mine is not a minority report, Mr. Chairman, I would 
like to quote one more critic, Mr. Clifton Fadiman, who says that he 
senses tlie truth in my presentation as he sensed the truth in Uncle 
Tom's Cabin. 

I don't know the man personally. 

Now, what about the remedy ? Mr. Chairman, I am just a doctor. 
I can't tell what the remedy is. I can only say that in my opinion 
this is a public-health problem. I think it ought to be possible to 
determine once and for all what is in these comic books and I think 
it ought to be possible to keep the children under 15 from seeing them 
displayed to them and preventing these being sold directly to chil- 

In other words, I think something should be done to see that the 
children can't get them. You see, if a father wants to go to a store 
ancl says, "I have a little boy of seven. He doesn't know how to rape 
a girl ; he doesn't know how to rob a store. Please sell me one of the 
comic books," let the man sell him one, but I don't think the boy should 
be able to go see this rape on the cover and buy the comic book. 

I think from the public-health point of view something might be 

Now, Mr. Chairman, in conclusion, if I may speak in seriousness 
about one suggestion that I have, I detest censorship. I have appeared 

49632—54 7 


in very unpopular cases in court clefendino: such novelties as the 
Guilded Hearse, and so on, as I believe adults should be allowed to 
write for adults. I believe that what is necessary for children is 

But I would like to suggest to the committee a simple scientific 
experiment, if I may, in great brevity. 

I am not advocating censorship, but it is the comic-book industry 
which at the present moment tries to censor what the parents read. 
This enormous industry at present exercises a censorship through 
power. Ever since I have expressed any opinion about comic books 
based on simple research done in basements on poor children whose 
mothers cried their eyes out, ever since then I have been told by threats, 
by libel suits, of damages; it is a miracle that my book was published 
considering how many threatening letters these lawyers and people 
have written to my prospective publishers. They have even threat- 
ened with a libel suit the Saturday Evening Post and even the Na- 
tional Parent Teachers, which is a nonprofit magazine. 

Senator Kefauver. While you are on that subject. Dr. Wertham, 
may I see that thing, anybody who opposes comic books is a Eecl ? 

Dr. Wertiiam. Yes ; that is part of it. 

Senator Kefauver. I have read a number of your writings. I have 
read your Seduction of the Innocent. You remen:^er a number of 
years ago I had several visits with you and you told me about the 
pressure they tried to apply on you in connection with this. 

But I noticed here this thing, that anyone who opposes comic books 
are Communists. "The group most anxious to destroy comics are 
the Communists." 

Then they have here the statement : 

Tliis article also quoted Gershon Lej^man (who claims to be a phost writer for 
Dr. Fi'ederick Wertham, the author of a recent smear against comics published 
in the Ladies Home Journal ) . This same G. Legman, in issue No. 2 of Neurotica, 
published in autumn 1948, wildly condemned comics, although admitting that 
"The child's natural character must be distorted to fit civilization * * *. Fan- 
tasy violence will paralyze his resistance, divert his aggression to unreal ene- 
mies and frustrations, and in this way prevent him from rebelling against parents 
and teachers * * * this will siphon off his resistance against society, and prevent 

This seems to be an effort to tie you up in some way as Red or Com- 
munist. Is that part of a smear ? 

Dr. Wertham. This is from comic books. I have really paid no 
attention to this. I can tell you that I am not a ghost writer. Like 
this gentleman who criticized it severely, they know I don't have a 
ghost writer. 

Gershon Legman is a man who studied comic books. He is a man 
who tried to do something against comic books, so they tried to do 
something about him. 

That is just one of the ordinary kinds of things. But, Mr. Chair- 
man, they do something quite different which is much more serious. 
The comic-book industry at the present moment — and this is the ex- 
periment I would like to suggest to you — the comic-book industry 
at the present moment interferes with the freedom of publications in 
all fields. They have their hands on magazines, they have their hands 
on newspapers, they threaten the advertisers ; they continually 
threaten libel suits and action for damages. 


The experiment I suggest to you is the following: My book has 
been selected, Seduction of the Innocent, which is nothing but a scien- 
tific report on comic books in that I tried to make in understandable 
language, that is what it is except that it includes areas other than 
juvenile delinquency. 

This group was selected by a group of men of unimpeachable in- 
tegrity, Christopher Morley, Clifton Fadiman, Loveman, Dorothy 
Canfield Fisher, John P, Marquand ; they selected this book on account 
of its truth, and I suppose its writing, and it has been announced alt 
over the country that it is a Book of the Month Club selection. 

The contracts have been signed. The question I would like to put 
to you is this : Will this book be distributed or will the sinister hand- 
of these corrupters of children, of this comic-book industry, will they 
prevent distribution ? You can very easily find that out and then you 
can see how difficult it is for j)arents to defend their children against 
comic books if they are not allowed to read what they contain. 

Thank you. 

The Chairman. Senator Kefauver, do you have any questions? 

Senator Kefavuer. Yes, I have one or two, Mr. Chairman. 

Dr. Wertham, I assume more than any other psychiatrist in the 
United States — perhaps 1 should not be asking this — but you, over a 
long period of time, have interviewed children, you worked in hos- 
pitals, clinics, and schools, observing the reaction to crime and horror 
comic books. 

Could you give us any estimate of how many children this study 
has been made from — from which you derive your conclusions? 

Dr. Wertham. Yes, I figured out at one time tliat there were more 
than 500 children a year come to my attention, or did come to my at- 
tention during the bulk of this investigation. 

Now, I cannot say, however, that every one of these children had 
as complete a study as I think they should have. I mean, some of them 
I saw a few times; some have all kinds of tests, good social services; 
some had been before the court ; some I saw^ privately and considered 
in great detail, but by and large I would say that we have seen 
hundreds and hundreds of children. 

Senator Kefatr^er, Any way it runs into many thousands? 

Dr. Wertham. Some thousands. I would not say many thousands. 

Senator Kefauver. You have actually asked and tried to develop 
from many of these children how it was they happened to try to com- 
mit, or how it was they happened to commit this, that, or the other 
crime ; is that correct ? 

Dr. Wfjjtham. Senator, that is not exactly correct. For instance, 
if I have a child sent to me — I remember the commisisoner of the ju- 
venile aid bureau of the police once came to visit me to see how I exam- 
ined a child because he had a good report of my clinic in Queens. 
This was a child who had committed some delinquency. I spent an 
hour talking to this child. I didn't even mention the delinquency. I 
didn't say a word about it. 

The commissioner asked me afterwards, "Why didn't you mention 

I said, "I don't want to put him on his guard. I don't want to tempt 
him to lie to me. I want to understand this child. I want to under- 
stand the whole setting." 


The judgment that these comic books have an effect on children, 
that is not the children's judgment. They don't think that. The 
children don't say that this does them any harm, and that is an inter- 
esting thing because it has been so misrepresented by the comic-book 
industry and their spokesmen in all the biased opinions that they 
peddle and that they hand out to unsuspecting newspaper editors. 

They say I asked the child, "Did you do that because you read a 
comic book?" 

I don't ask the child ""Wliy do you have the measles?", .or "Why 
do you have a fever ?" No child has ever said to me this excuse, "I did 
this because I read it in the comic book. I figured that out." 

The children don't say that. Many of these children read the comic 
T^ooks and they like it and they are already so corrupt that they really 
get a thrill out of it and it is very difficult. 

What you can get out of them is this, "For me, this does not do any 
harm to me, but my little brother, he really should not read it. He 
gets nightmares or he gets wrong ideas." 

The actual proof that a child can say, "I did this because of so and 
so," that is not at all how my investigation worked. 

Senator Kefauver. I do remember you showed me one example of 
a horror book with a child with a hypodermic needle and you related 
that to some crime that you had known something about. 

Dr. Wertham, I have known children, in fact, if I may say. Your 
Honor, I notice in the room the reporter who brought to my attention 
one of the earliest cases of children — may I say who it is — Judith 
Crist, who works iov the New York Herald Tribune. She brought to 
my attention a case in Long Island where children stuck pins in girls 
or something. I told her then that I have found where they stuck 
pins in much worse places than the arm. 

I told her of the injury to the eyes. You can very rarely say that 
the boys said exactly, "That is what I did because this is what I wanted 
to do." 

I have had children who told me they committed robberies. They 
followed the comic book, but they said, "That is not good enough, the 
comic books say you go through the transom." 

"But," they said, "you go through the side door." 

Children nowadays draw maps and say, "This is the street where the 
store is we are going to rob ; this is where we are going to hide and 
this is how we are going to get away." 

That is in many comic books, and they show me in comic books that 
is how they are going to do it. 

I would not say in such a case this is the only reason why this child 
committed delinquency, but I will say that is a contributing factor 
because if you don't know the method you can't execute the act and 
the method itself is so intriguing and so interesting that the children 
are very apt to commit it. 

Senator Kefauver. In some of the comic books the villian made one 
mistake, he almost committed the perfect crime, but he made one mis- 
take and he got caught. We found some cases where they are trying 
to eliminate the one mistake so that they can make the perfect crime. 

Dr. Wertham. That is absolutely correct. That is the whole phi- 
losophy of comic books. The point is don't make any mistakes. Don't 


leave the map there. Don't break the light aloud, put a towel over it. 

Senator Kefalwer. Would you liken this situation you talk about, 
showing the same thing over and over again until they finally be- 
lieved it, to what we heard about during the last war of Hitler's theory 
of telling the story over and over again ? 

The Chairman. The "big lie" technique? 

Dr. Wertham. Well, I hate to say that, Senator, but I think Hitler 
was a beginner compared to the comic-book industry. They get the 
children much younger. They teach them race hatred at the age 
of 4 before they can read. 

Let me give you an example of a comic book which I think is on the 
stand right now. It may have disappeared the last few days. 

You know at the present moment New York City and other cities 
have a great social problem in integrating immigrating Puerto Ricans. 
It is very important to establish peace in these neighborhoods where 
friction may arise, or has arisen. 

This particular comic book that I am referring to now has a story 
in which a derogatory term for Puerto Ricans, which I will not repeat 
here, but which is a common derogatory term, is repeated 12 times 
in one story. This greasy so and so, this dirty so and so. It is 
pointed out that a Spanish Catholic family moved into this neighbor- 
hood — utterly unnecessary. 

"What is the point of the story ? The point of the story is that then 
somebody gets beaten to death. The only error is that the man who 
must get beaten to death is not a man ; it is a girl. 

Senator Kefauver. I think we ought to know the name of the 
comic book. 

Dr. Wertham. I shall be glad to give it to your counsel. 

Senator Kefauver. Can you tell us? 

Dr. Wertham. I don't have it in my head. 

Senator Kefauver. I am not sure that Dr. Wertham is one who 
could tell about this, but I have heard it told that some people feel 
that comic books are harmless and respectable and don't pay much 
attention to them because they are certified to, and in some cases 
even recommended by hif^h-souncling committees, with, of course, 
good names on the committees who give them an excellent bill of 

Did you not make some investigation into whether or not a great 
many of the people on these so-called nonpartisan committees were 
actually in the pay of the comic book industry itself? 

Dr. Wertham. Senator, I would have to mention individuals but 
I think it is to be assumed, and I suppose one knows that people whose 
names are on these comic books are paid — there are people who say, 
"Well, they are paid, they are biased." 

I have a hard time understanding how any doctor or child expert 
or psychologist can put his name to that. That is not the important 
point, because the names usually are not known anyway. 

What happens is that in Kalamazoo, or in North Dakota, or in the 
little village in Permsylvania where I spend part of my time, they read 
the names of these institutions which sound very well, the so and so 
association, or so and so university. That is what influences the 

Of course, these same people write articles which I have tried very 
hard to take at their face value. But when I found that thej have mis- 


statements, when they say articles sent out by one of the associations, 
the person who writes it and endorses these books for money, when 
they write a survey of all the comic books, you see all kinds of little 
ones, nothing of the real ones, it misleads the people. 

But I think that is not as important a problem, Senator, as the prob- 
lem right now that the industry itself is preventing the mothers of this 
country from having not only me, but anybody else make any criticism. 

This tremendous power is exercised by this group which consists of 
three parts, the comic book publishers, the printers, and last and not 
least, the big distributors who force these little vendors to sell these 
comic books. They force them because if they don't do that they don't 
get the other things. 

Mr. Hannoch. How do you know that? 

Dr. Wertham. I know that from many sources. You see, I read 
comic books and I buy them and I go to candy stores. 

They said, "You read so many comic books." I talk to them and 
ask them who buys them. I say to a man, "Why do you sell this kind 
of stuff?" 

He says, "What do you expect me to do ? Not sell it ? " 

He says, "I will tell you something. I tried that one time." 

The man says, "Look, I did that once. The newsdealer, whoever 
it is, says, 'You have to do it'." 

"I said, 'I don't want to.' 

" 'Well', he says, 'you can't have the other magazine'." 

So the man said, "Well, all right, we will let it go." 

So when the next week came, all the other magazines were late. You 
see, he didn't give them the magazines. So he was later than all his 
competitors, he had to take comic books back. 

I also know it another way. There are some people who think I 
have some influence in this matter. I have very little. Comic books 
are much worse now than when I started. I have a petition from 
newsdealers that appealed to me to help them so they don't have to 
sell these comic books. 

Wliat they expect me to do, I don't know. Of course, it is known to 
many other people. It also happens in Canada. 

I know it for more reasons. I don't want to mention journalists, 
but I can tell you of big national magazines, the editors of which would 
very much like to push this question of comic book problems. They 
can't do that because they are themselves being distributed by very 
big distributors who also do comic books, and then they suffer through 
loss of advertising. 

That is why I gave you one example of the Book of the Month Club 
because I think that could nail it down once and for all, what these 
people do deliberately. 

The Chairman. Senator Hennings, have you any questions? 

Senator Hennings. Tliank you, Mr. Chairman. I have no questions. 

The Chairman. Mr. Hannoch, do you have any questions you want 
to ask ? 

Mr. Hannoch. No questions. 

Senator Hennings. I must say that I have the doctor's book, and I 
am reading it with great interest. 

The Chairman. Doctor, we are very grateful to you for appearing 
here this afternoon. 

Dr. Wertham, Thank you. 


Mr. Beaser. William Gaines. 

Tlie Chairman. Will you come forward, Mr. Gaines ? 

Will you be sworn ? 

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give to this 
subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States 
Senate, will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God ? 

Mr. Gaines. I do. 


The Chairman. You may proceed in your own manner. 

Mr. Gaines. Gentlemen, I would like to make a short statement. I 
am here as an individual publisher. 

Mr. Hannoch. Will you give your name and address, for the record ? 

Mr. Gaines. My name is William Gaines. My business address is 
225 Lafayette Street, Xew York City. I am a publisher of the Enter- 
taining Comics Group. 

I am a graduate of the school of education of New York University. 
I have the qualification^ to teach in secondary schools, high schools. 

What then am I doing before this committee ? I am a comic-book 
publisher. My group is known as EC, Entertaining Comics. 

I am here as a voluntary witness. I asked for and w^as given this 
chance to be heard. 

Two decades ago my late father was instrumental in starting the 
comic magazine industry. He edited the first few issues of the first 
modern comic magazine, Famous Funnies. My father was proud of 
the industry he helped found. He was bringing enjoyment to millions 
of people. 

The heritage he left is the vast comic-book industry which employs 
thousands of writers, artists, engravers, and printers. 

It has weaned hundreds of thousands of children from pictures to 
fhe printed word. It has stirred their imagination, given them an 
outlet for their problems and frustrations, but most important, given 
them millions of hours of entertainment. 

My father before me was proud of the comics he published. My 
father saw in the comic book a vast field of visual education. He was 
a pioneer. 

Sometimes he was ahead of his time. He published Picture Stories 
from Science, Picture Stories from World History, and Picture Stories 
from American History. 

He published Picture Stories from the Bible. 

I would like to offer these in evidence. 

The Chairman. They will be received for the subcommittee's per- 
manent files. Let that be exhibit No. 11. 

(The documents referred to were marked "Exhibit No. 11," and are 
on file with the subcommittee.) 

Mr. Gaines. Since 1942 we have sold more than 5 million copies of 
Picture Stories from the Bible, in the United States. It is widely 
used by churches and schools to make religion more real and vivid. 

Picture Stories from the Bible is published throughout the world 
in dozens of translations. But it is nothing more nor nothing less 
than a comic magazine. 


I publish comic magazines in addition to picture stories from the 
Bible. For example, I publish horror comics. I was the first pub- 
lisher in these United States to publish horror comics. I am respon- 
sible, I started them. 

Some may not like them. That is a matter of personal taste. It 
would be just as difficult to explain the harmless thrill of a horror 
story to a Dr. Wertham as it would be to explain the sublimity of 
love to a frigid old maid. 

My father was proud of the comics he published, and I am proud 
of the comics I publish. We use the best writers, the finest artists; 
we spare nothing to make each magazine, each story, each page, a 
work of art. 

As evidence of this, I might point out that we have the highest 
sales in individual distribution. I don't mean highest sales in corn- 
parison to comics of another type. I mean highest sales in compari- 
son to other horror comics. The magazine is one of the few remain- 
ing — the comic magazine is one of the few remaining pleasures that a 
person may buy for a dime today. Pleasure is what we sell, enter- 
tainment, reading enjoyment. Entertaining reading has never 
harmed anyone. Men of good will, free men, should be very grateful 
for one sentence in the statement made by Federal Judge John M. 
Woolsey when he lifted the ban on Ulysses. Judge Woolsey said: 

It is only with the normal person that the law is concerned. 

May I repeat, he said, "It is only with the normal person that the 
law is concerned." Our American children are for the most part 
normal children. They are bright children, but those who want to 
prohibit comic magazines seem to see dirty, sneaky, perverted mon- 
sters who use the comics as a blueprint for action. 

Perverted little monsters are few and far between. They don't 
read comics. The chances are most of them are in schools for retarded 

What are we afraid of? Are we afraid of our own children? Do 
we forget that they are citizens, too, and entitled to select what to 
read or do? We think our children are so evil, simple minded, that 
it takes a story of murder to set them to murder, a story of robbery 
to set them to robbery ? 

Jimmy Walker once remarked that he never knew a girl to be ruined 
by a book. Nobody has ever been ruined by a comic. 

As has already been pointed out by previous testimony, a little, 
healthy, normal child has never been made worse for reading comic 

The basic personality of a child is established before he reaches the 
age of comic-book reading. I don't believe anything that has ever 
been written can make a child overaggressive or delinquent. 

The roots of such characteristics are much deeper. The truth is 
that delinquency is the product of real environment in which the 
child lives and not of the fiction he reads. 

There are many problems that reach our children today. They 
are tied up with insecurity. No pill can cure them. No law will 
legislate them out of being. The problems are economic and social 
and they are complex. 

Our people need understanding ; they need to have aff(iction, decent 
homes, dec(mt food. 


Do the comics encourage delinquency ? Dr. David Abrahamsen has 
written : 

Comic books do not lead into crime, although they liave been widely blamed 
for it. I find comic books many times helpful for children in that through them 
they can get rid of many of their aggressions and harmful fantasies. I can 
never remember having seen one boy or girl who has committed a crime or who 
became neurotic or psychotic because he or she read comic books. 

The Chairman. Senator Kefauver. 
Senator Kefauver. Is that Dr. David Abrahamsen? 
Mr. Gaines. That is right, sir. I can give you the source on that, 
if you like. I will give it to you later. 

The Chairman. You can supply that later. 
(The source is as follows:) 

Abrahamsen, Dr. David, Who Are the Guilty, New York : Rinehart & Co., 
Inc., page 279. 

Mr. Gaines. I would like to discuss, if you bear with me a moment 
more, something which Dr. Wertham provoked me into. Dr. Wer- 
tham, I am happy to say, I have just caught in a half-truth, and I am 
very indignant about it. He said there is a magazine now on the stands 
preaching racial intolerance. The magazine he is referring to is my 
magazine. What he said, as much as he said, was true. There do 
appear in this magazine such materials as "Spik," "Dirty Mexican," 
but Dr. Wertham did not tell you what the plot of the story was. 

This is one of a series of stories designed to show the evils of race 
prejudice and mob violence, in this case against Mexican Catholics. 

Previous stories in this same magazine have dealt with antisemitism, 
and anti-Negro feelings, evils of dope addiction and development of 
juvenile delinquents. 

This is one of the most brilliantly written stories that I have ever 
had the pleasure to publish. I was very proud of it, and to find it being 
used in such a nefarious way made me quite angry. 

I am sure Dr. Wertham can read, and he must have read the story, 
to have counted what he said he counted. 

I would like to read one more thing to you. 

Senator Hennings asked Dr. Peck a question. I will be perfectly 
frank with you, I have forgotten what he asked him, but this is the 
answer because I made a notation as he went along. 

No one has to read a comic book to read horror stories. 

Anyone, any child, any adult, can find much more extreme descrip- 
tions of violence in the daily newspaper. You can find plenty of ex- 
amples in today's newspaper. In today's edition of the Daily News, 
which more people will have access to than they will to any comic 
magazine, there are headline stories like this : 

Finds he has killed wife with gun. 

Man in Texas woke up to find he had killed his wife with gun. She had bullet 
in head and he had a revolver in his hand. 

The next one : 

Cop pleads in cocktail poisoning. 

Twenty-year-old youth helps poison the mother and father of a friend. 
Court orders young hanging. Man who killed his wife will be hung in June 
for his almost-perfect murder. 

Let us look at today's edition of the Herald Tribune. 


On the front page a criminal describes Iioay another criminal told 
him about a murder he had done. In the same paper the story of a 
man whose ex-wife beat him on the head with a claw hammer and 
slashed him with a butcher knife. 

In the same paper, story of a lawyer who killed himself. 

In another, a story of that man who shot his wife while having a 

Another, a story of a gang who collected an arsenal of guns and 
knives. These are very many stories of violence and crime in the 
Herald Tribune today. 

I am not saying it is wrong, but when you attack comics, when you 
talk about banning them as they do in some cities, you are only a step 
away from banning crimes in the newspapers. 

Here is something interesting which I think most of us don't know. 
Crime news is being made in some places. The United Nations 
UNESCO report, which I believe is the only place that it is printed, 
shows that crime news is not permitted to appear in newspapers in 
Russia or Communist China, or other Communist-held territories. 

We print our crime news. We don't think that the crime news or 
any news should be banned because it is bad for children. 

Once you start to censor you must censor everything. You must 
censor comic books, radio, television, and newspapers. 

Then you must censor what people may say. Then you will have 
turned this country into Spain or Russia. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Gaines, let me ask you one thing with reference to 
Dr. Wertham's testimony. 

You used the pages of your comic book to send across a message, in 
this case it was against racial prejudice ; is that it ? 

Mr. Gaines. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. You think, therefore, you can get across a message to 
the kids through the medium of your magazine that would lessen 
racial prejudice; is that it? 

Mr. Gaines. By specific effort and spelling it out very carefully so 
that the point won't be missed by any of the readers, and I regret 
to admit that it still is missed by some readers, as well as Dr. Wer- 
tham — we have, I think, achieved some degree of success in combating 
anti-Semitism, anti-Negro feeling, and so forth. 

Mr. Beaser. Yet why do you say you cannot at the same time and 
in the same manner use the pages of your magazine to get a message 
which would affect children adversely, that is, to have an effect upon 
their doing these deeds of violence or sadism, whatever is depicted ? 

Mr. Gaines. Because no message is being given to them. In other 
words, when we write a story with a message, it is deliberately written 
in such a way that the message, as I say, is spelled out carefully in 
the captions. The preaching, if you want to call it, is spelled out 
carefully in the captions, plus the fact that our readers by this time 
know that in each issue of shock suspense stories, the second of the 
stories will be this type of story. 

Mr. Beaser. A message can be gotten across without spelling out in 
that detail. For example, take this case that was presented this morn- 
ing of the child who is in a foster home who became a werewolf, and 
foster parents 

Mr. Gaines. That was one of our stories. 


Mr. Beaser. a child who killed her mother. Do you think that 
would have any effect at all on a child who is in a foster placement, 
who is with foster parents, who has fears ? Do you not think that child 
in reading the story would have some of the normal fears which a 
child has, some of the normal desires tightened, increased ? 

Mr. Gaines. I honestly can say I don't think so. No message has 
been spelled out there. We were not trying to prove anything with 
that story. None of tlie captions said anything like "If you are un- 
happy with your stepmother, shoot her." 

Mr, Beaser, No, but here you have a child who is in a foster home 
who has been treated very well, who has fears and doubts about the 
foster parent. The child would normally identify herself in this case 
with a child in a similar situation and there a child in a similar situ- 
ation turns out to have foster parents who became werewolves. 

Do you not think that would increase the child's anxiety ? 

Mr. Gaines. Most foster children, I am sure, are not in homes such 
as were described in those stories. Those were pretty miserable homes. 

Mr. Hannoch. You mean the houses that had vampires in them, 
those were not nice homes ? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes, 

Mr, Hannoch. Do you know any place where there is any such 

Mr, Gaines. As vampires ? 

Mr. Hannoch. Yes. 

Mr. Gaines. No, sir; this is fantasy. The point I am trying to 
make is that I am sure no foster children are kept locked up in their 
room for months on end except in those rare cases that you hear about 
where there is something wrong with the parents such as the foster 
child in one of these stories was, and on the other hand, I am sure that 
no foster child finds himself with a drunken father and a mother who 
is having an affair with someone else. 

Mr. Beaser. Yet you do hear of the fact that an awful lot of delin- 
quency comes from homes that are broken. You hear of drunkenness 
in those same homes. 

Do you not think those children who read those comics identify 
themselves with the poor home situation, with maybe the drunken 
father or mother who is going out, and identify themselves and see 
themselves portrayed there ? 

Mr, Gaines. It has been my experience in writing these stories for 
the last 6 or 7 years that whenever we have tested them out on kids, 
or teen-agers, or adults, no one ever associates himself with someone 
who is going to be put upon. They always associate themselves with 
the one who is doing the putting upon. 

The Chairman, You do test them out on children, do you ? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. How do you do that ? 

Senator Hennings. Is that one of your series, the pictures of the 
two in the electric chair, the little girl down in the corner ? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes. 

Senator Hennings. As we understood from what we heard of that 
story, the little girl is not beiiig put upon there, is she? She is 
triumphant apparently, that is insofar as we heard the relation of the 
story this morning. 


Mr. Gaines. If I may explain, the readers does not know that until 
the last panel, which is one of the things we try to do in our stories, 
is have an O. Henry ending for each story. 

Senator Hp:nnings. I understood you to use the phrase "put upon," 
and that there was no reader identification — with one who was put 
upon, but the converse. 

Mr. Gaines, That is right, sir. 
Senator Hennings. Now, in that one, what would be your judg- 
ment or conclusion as to the identification of the reader with that little 
girl who has, to use the phrase, framed her mother and shot her 

Mr. Gaines. In that story, if you read it from the beginning, be- 
cause you can't pull things out of context 

Senator Hennings. That is right, you cannot do that. 

Mr. Gaines. You will see that a child leads a miserable life in the 
6 or 7 pages. It is only on the last page she emerges triumphant. 

Senator Hennings. As a result of murder and perjury, she emerges 
as triumphant ? 

Mr. Gaines. That is right. 

Mr. Hannoch. Is that the O. Henry finish ? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes. 

Mr. Hannoch. In other words, everybody reading that would 
think this girl would go to jail. So the O. Henry finish changes that, 
makes her a wonderful looking girl ? 

Mr. Gaines. No one knows she did it until the last panel. 

Mr. Hannoch. You think it does them a lot of good to read these 
things ? 

]VIr. Gaines. I don't think it does them a bit of good, but I don't 
think it does them a bit of harm, either. 

The Chairman. What would be your procedure to test the story out 
on a child or children ? 

Mr. Gaines. I give them the story to read and I ask them if they 
enjoyed it, and if they guessed the ending. If they said they enjoyed 
it and didn't guess the ending, I figure it is a good story, entertaining. 

The CiL\iR]MAN. What children do you use to make these tests with ? 

Mr. Gaines. Friends, relatives. 

Senator Hennings. Do you have any children of your own, Mr. 

Mr. Gaines. No, sir. 

Senator Hennings. Do you use any of the children of your own 
family, any nieces, nephews ? 

Mr. Gaines. My family has no children, but if they had, I would 
use them. 

The Chairman. You do test them out on children of your fi'iends, 
do you ? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Gaines, in your using tests, I don't think you are 
using it in the same way that we are here. You are not trying to test 
the effect on the child, you are trying to test the readability and 
whether it would sell ? 

Mr, Gaines. (Certainly, 

Mr, Beaser. I'hat is a different kind of test than the possible effect 
on the child. Then you have not conducted any tests as to the effects 
of these upon children ? 


Mr. Gaines. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Were you here this morning when Dr. Peck testified? 

Mr. Gaines. I was. 

Mr. Beaser. Did you listen to his testimony as to the possible effect 
of these comics upon an emotionally maladjusted child ^ 

Mr. Gaines. I heard it. 

Mr. Beaser. You disagree with it^ 

Mr. Gaines. I disagree with it. 

Frankly, I could have brought many, many quotes from psychia- 
trists and child-welfare experts and so forth pleading the cause of the 
comic magazine. I did not do so because I figured this would all be 
covered thoroughly before I got here. And it would just end up iru 
a big melee of pitting experts against experts. 

Mr. Beaser. Let me get the limits as far as what you put into your 
magazine. Is the sole test of what you would put into your magazine 
whether it sells ? Is there any limit you can think of that you would 
not put in a magazine because you thought a child should not see or 
read about it ? 

Mr. Gaines. No, I wouldn't say that there is any limit for the reason 
you outlined. My only limits are bounds of good taste, what I con- 
sider good taste. 

Mr. Beaser. Then you think a child cannot in any way, in any way^ 
shape, or manner, be hurt by anything that a child reads or sees? 

Mr. Gaines. I don't believe so. 

Mr. Beaser. There would be no limit actually to what you put in 
the magazines ? 

Mr. Gaines, Only within the bounds of good taste. 

Mr. Beaser. Your own good taste and salability? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes. 

Senator Kefaxaer. Here is your May 22 issue. This seems to be a 
man with a bloody ax holding a woman's head up which has been 
severed from her body. Do you think that is in good taste ? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes, sir; I do, for the cover of a horror comic. A 
cover in bad taste, for example, might be defined as holding the head 
a little higher so that the neck could be seen dripping blood from it 
and moving the body over a little further so that the neck of the body 
could be seen to be bloody. 

Senator Kefauver. You have blood coming out of her mouth. 

Mr. Gaines. A little. 

Senator Kefauver. Here is blood on the ax. I think most adults 
are shocked by that. 

The Chairman. Here is another one I want to show him. 

Senator Kefauver. This is the July one. It seems to be a man with 
a woman in a boat and he is choking her to death here with a crowbar- 
Is that in good taste ? 

Mr. Gaines. I think so. 

Mr. Hannoch. How could it be worse? 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Chairman, if counsel will bear with me, 1 
don't think it is really the function of our committee to argue with 
this gentleman. I believe that he has given us about the sum and 
substance of his philosophy, but I would like to ask you one ques- 
tion, sir. 

The Chairman. You may proceed. 


Senator Hennings. You have indicated by what — I hope you will 
forgive me if I suggest — seems to be a bit of self-righteousness, that 
your motivation was bringing "enjoyment" — is that the word you 

Mr. Gaines. Yes, sir. 

Senator Hennings. To the readers of these publications. You do 
not mean to disassociate the profit motive entirely, do you ? 

Mr. Gaines. Certainly not. 

Senator Hennings. Without asking you to delineate as between 
the two, we might say there is a combination of both, is there not ? 

Mr. Gaines. No question about it. 

Senator Hennings. Is there anything else that you would like to 
say to us with respect to your business and the matters that we are 
inquiring into here? 

Mr. Gaines. I don't believe so. 

Senator Kefaitv'er. I would like to ask 1 or 2 questions. 

The Chairman. You may proceed. Senator. 

Senator Kefauver. Mr. Gaines, I had heard that your father really 
did not have horror and crime comics. When he had the business 
he printed things that were really funny, and stories of the Bible, but 
you are the one that started out this crime and horror business. 

Mr. Gaines. I did not start crime ; I started horror. 

Senator Kefauver. Who started crime ? 

Mr. Gaines. I really don't know. 

Senator Kefauver. Anyway, you are the one who, after you took 
over your father's business in 1947, you started this sort of thing here. 
This is the May edition of Horror. 

Mr. Gaines. I started what we call our new-trend magazines in 1950. 

Senator Kefauver. How many of these things do you sell a month, 
Mr. Gaines? 

Mr. Gaines. It varies. We have an advertising guaranty of 
1,500,000 a month for our entire group. 

Senator Ivefauv^er. That is for all the Entertaining Comics, of 
which Shock is one of them? How do you distribute these, Mr. 

Mr. Gaines. I have a national distributor. There are roughly 10 
individual national distributors which handle roughly half of the 
magazines. The other half is handled by American News. 

The 1 of the 10 that I have is Leader News Co. 

Senator Kefauver. That is a distributor. Then do they sell to 
wholesalers ? 

Mr. Gaines. They in turn sell to seven-hundred-odd wholesalers 
around the country. 

Senator Kefauver. The wholesalers then pass it out to the retailers, 
the drug stores, and newsstands ; is that right ? 

Mr. Gaines. That is right. 

Senator Kefauver. They are all sold on a consignment basis? 

Mr. Gaines. They are all returnable. 

Senator Kefauver. So your magazines alqng with what other 
wholesaler may be handling, are taken in a package to the retailer and 
left there and he is supposed to put them on his stand and sell them ? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes. 

Senator Kefauver. And if he does not sell them, or does not dis- 
play them, then he is liable to get another retailer? 


Mr. Gaines. No, we cover every retailer as far as I know. 

Senator IvErAuvER. You don't like things to be put back and resold. 
You would like them to be sold. 

Mr. Gaines. I would prefer it. Comics are so crowded today, I 
think there are some 500 titles, that it is impossible for any retailer 
to give all 500 different places. 

Senator Kjefauver. I notice in this edition of May 14 the one in 
which you have the greasy Mexican the first page has apparently two 
shootings going on at the same time here, then on the next page is an 
advertisement for young people to send a dollar in and get the Panic 
for the next 8 issues. Is that not right ? 

Mr. Gaines. That is right. 

Senator Kefauver. This says the editors of Panic, 225 Lafayette 
Street. That is you ? 

Mr. Gaines. That is right. 

Senator Kefauver. Then the attraction here is "I dreamed I went 
to a fraternity smoker in my Panic magazine," you have dice on the 
floor and cigarettes, somebody getting beer out, somebody laying on 
his back taking a drink. Do you think that is all right ? 

Mr. Gaines. This is an advertisement for one of my lampoon maga- 
zines. This is a lampoon of the Maiden-Form brassiere ad, I dreamed 
I went to so-and-so in my Maiden-Form brassiere, which has appeared 
in the last 6 years in national family magazines showing girls leaping 
through the air in brassieres and panties. 

We simply lampoon by saying 'T dreamed I went to a panic smoker 
in my Panic magazine." 

Senator Kefauver. I mean, do you like to portray a fraternity 
smoker like that? 

Mr. Gaines. This is a lampoon magazine. We make fun of things. 

The Chairman. You think that is in good taste? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes, sir. 

Senator Kefauver. 1 have looked through these stories. Every 
one of them seems to end with murder, practically. I have looked 
through this one where they have the greasy Mexican and the Puerto 
Rican business. I can't find any moral of better race relations in it, 
but I think that ought to be filed so that we can study it and see and 
take into consideration what Mr. Gaines has said. 

The Chairman. Mr. Gaines, you have no objection to having this 
made a part of our permanent files, have you ? 

Mr. Gaines. No, sir. 

The Chairman. Then, without objection, it will be so ordered. Let 
it be exhibit No. 12. 

(The magazine referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 12," and is on 
file with the subcommittee.) 

Senator Kefauver. Is Mr. Gaines a member of the association 
that we talked about here this morning? 

Mr. Gaines. No longer. I was a member for about 2 or 3 years and 
I resigned about 2 or 3 years ago. 

Senator Kefau\t2r. How did you happen to resign, Mr. Gaines? 

Mr. Gaines. Principally for financial reasons. 

Senator Kefauver. It only has $15,000 a year for the whole opera- 
tion ? 

Mr. Gaines. At that time my share would have been $2,000. At 
that time, also, about 10 percent of the publishers were represented. 


I was a charter member of the association. I stuck with it for 2 or 3 

The theory was that w^e were going to get all the publishers into 
it and then the burden of financial 

Senator Kefauver. Did you have any argument about censorship, 
about this gentleman, Mr. Schultz, who was here, not liking the kind 
of things you w^ere publishing? 

Mr. Gaines. No, sir. Mr. Schultz and I frequently had disagree- 
ments which we would iron out and I would make the changes he 
required until I decided to resign. 

The Chairman. Did you have any part, Mr. Gaines, in preparing 
that code? 

Mr. Gaines. No, the code was prepared by, I believe, the first board 
of directors of the association. I was on the board of directors later 
on, but not at first. 

Tlie Chairman. Did you subscribe to the code ? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes, sir. 
The Chairman. Did you think that publishing a magazine like this 
for example would still be within the code ? 

Mr. Gaines. No, sir. 

Senator Kefauver. You admit none of this would come within 
that code ? 

Mr. Gaines. Certain portions of the code I have retained. Certain 
portions of the code I have not retained. I don't agree with the code 
in all points. 

Senator Kefauver. The code that you have here, none of your 
stories would come in that code. You could not print any of these 
if you compiled with the full code we read here this morning. 

Mr. Gaines. I would have to study the story and study the code 
to answer that. 

Senator Kefauver. How much is your monthly income from all 
your corporations with this thing, Mr. Gaines? 

Mr. Gaines. You mean by that, my salary ? 

Senator Kefauver. No. How much do you take in a month from 
your jDublications ? 

JSIr. Gaines. I wouldn't know monthly. We figure it annually. 

Senator Kefauver. Let us say gross. 

Mr. Gaines. Gross, I don't know. 

Senator Kefauver. What is your best estimate annually ? 

Mr. Gaines. I would say about $80,000 a month gross. 

Senator Kefauver. How many books did you say you printed a 
month ? 

Mr. Gaines. A million and a half guaranteed sale. We print about 
two, two and a half million. 

Senator Kefauver. How much net do you make a month out of it,, 
that is, the corporations ? 

Mr. Gaines. Last year it came to about $4,000 a month. 

Senator Kefauver. Do you have several corporations, Mr. Gaines f 

Mr. Gaines. Yes, sir. 

Senator Kefauver. How many corporations do you have? 

Mr. Gaines. I have five. 

Senator Kefauver. Why do you have five corporations ? 

Mr. Gaines. Well, I don't really know. I inherited stock in five 
corporations which were formed by my father before his death. In» 


those days he started a corporation, I believe, for every magazine. I 
have not adhered to that. 

I have just kept the original five and published about two maga- 
zines in each corporation. 

Senator Kefauver. Do you not think the trouble might have been 
if one magazine got in trouble that corporation would not adversely 
affect the others? 

Mr. Gaines. Oh, hardly. 

Senator Kefauver. You did get one magazine banned by the at- 
torne}' general of Massachusetts, did you not 'i 

Mr. (iAixEs. The attorney general of Massachusetts reneged and 
claims he has not banned it. 1 still don't know what the story was. 

Senator Kefauver. Anyway, he said he was going to prosecute you 
if you sent that magazine over there any more. 

Mr. Gaines. He thereafter, I understand, said — lie never said he 
would prosecute. 

Senator Kefauver. That is the word you got though, that he was 
going to prosecute you? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes. 

Senator Kefauver. When was that ? 

Mr. Gaines. Just before Christmas. 

Senator Kefauver. Which magazine was that? 

Mr, Gaines. That was for Panic No. 1. 

Senator Kefauver. Just one other question. There is some associa- 
tion that goes over these things. Do you make any contribution to 
the membersliips of any associations ? 

JMr. Gaines. No. 

Senator Kefauver. Any committee that supervises the industry? 

Mr. Gaines. No. There is no such committee or organization aside 
from the Association of Comic Magazine Publishers. 

Senator Kefauver. You said you had a guaranteed sale of a million 
and a half per month. 

Mr, Gaines. We guarantee the advertisers that much. 

Senator Kefauver, So that you do have some interest in seeing that 
the distributor and wholesaler and retailer get your magazines out 
because you guarantee the advertisers a million and a half sales a 

Mr, Gaines. I have a very definite interest. Unfortunately, I 
don't have a thing to do with it. 

Senator Kefauver. Thank you, Mr, Chairman. 

Mr, Hannoch,' Could I ask one or two questions ? 

The Chairman. Mr, Hannoch, 

Mr, Hannoch. What is this organization that you maintain called 
the Fan and Addict Club for 25 cents a member? 

Mr. Gaines. Simply a comic fan club. 

Mr. Hannoch. You advertise the children should join the club? 

Mr, Gaines. Yes. 

Mr. Hannoch. What do they do ? Do they pay dues ? 

Mr, Gaines. No. 

Mr. Hannoch. Wliat do they send 25 cents in for ? 

jNIr. Gaines. They get an arm patch, an antique bronze pin, a 7 by 
11 certificate and a pocket card, the cost of which to me is 26 cents 
without mailing. 

49632—54 8 


Mr. Hannoch. After you get a list of all these kids and their fam- 
ilies and addresses, what do you do with the list ? 

Mr. Gaines. I get out what we call fan and addict club bulletins. 
The last bulletin was principally made up of names and addresses 
of members who had back issues they wanted to trade with other 

Mr. Hannoch. Did anybody buy that list from you and use it ? 

Mr. Gaines. No, sir ; I have never sold it. 

Mr. Hannoch. Do you know anything about this sheet called, "Are 
you a Red dupe?"' 

Mr. Gaines. Yes, sir ; I wrote it. 

Mr. Hannoch. How has it been distributed ? 

Mr. Gaines. It has not been distributed. It is going to be the 
inside front cover ad on five of my comic magazines which are forth- 

Mr. Hannoch. And it is going to be an advertisement ? 

Mr. Gaines. Not an advertisement. It is an editorial. 

Mr. Hannoch. Do other magazines have copies of this to be used 
for the same purpose ? 

Mr. Gaines. No, sir. 

Mr. Hannoch. You haven't made this available to the magazines as 
yet ? 

Mr. Gaines. No, sir ; and I don't intend to. 

Mr. Hannoch. You believe the things that you say in this ad that 
you wrote ? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Hannoch. That anybody who is anxious to destroy comics are 
Communists ? 

Mr. Gaines. I don't believe it says that. 

Mr. Hannoch. The group most anxious to destroy comics are the 
Communists ? 

Mr. Gaines. True, but not anybody, just the group most anxious. 

The Chairman. Are there any other questions ? 

Mr. Hannoch. No. 

Mr. Beaser. I have some questions. 

The Chairman. Mr. Beaser. 

Mr. Beaser. Just to settle the point which came up before, Mr. 
Gaines, who is it that gets the idea for this, for one of your stories, 
you, your editor, tlie artist, the writer ? Where does it come from ? 

Mr. Gaines. Principally from my editors and myself. 

Mr. Beaser. Not from the artists ? 

Mr. Gaines. No. 

Mr. Beaser. He just does what he is told ? 

Mr. Gaines. Pie just followed the story and illustrates it. 

Mr. Beaser. He is told what to do and how to illustrate it? 

Mr. Gaines. No, our artists are superior artists. They don't have 
to be given detailed descriptions. 

Mr. Beaser. He has to be told what it is ? 

Mr. Gaines. It is lettered in before he draws it. 

Mr. Beaser. He knows the story pretty much, so he knows what he 
can fit in ? 

Mr. Gaines. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. You said that you had a circulation of 5 million Bible 


Mr. Gaines Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. How many years is this ? 

Mr. Gaines. Twelve years, since 1942. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, in little over 3^/2 months you sell more 
of your crime and horror than you sell of the Bible stories? 

Mr. Gaines. Quite a bit more. 

Mr. Beaser. They seem to go better ? 

Mr. Gaines. This is a 65-cent book. The crime-and-horror book is 
a 10-cent book. There is a difference. 

Mr. Beaser. No further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Gaines. 

Mr. Gaines. Thank you, sir. 

The Chairman. Will counsel call the next witness? 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Walt Kelly. 

The Chairman. Mr. Kelly, do you have some associates? 

Mr. Kelly. I have, sir. 

The Chairman. Do you want them to come up and sit with you? 

Mr. Kelly. I think I would enjoy the company. 

The Chairman. Fine. We would enjoy having them up here. 

I will swear you all at one time. 

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give to this 
subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States 
Senate, will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God ? 

Mr. Kelly. I do. 

Mr. Caniff. I do. 

Mr. MusiAL. I do. 


Mr. Hannoch. Will you give your name, sir ? 

Mr. Kelly. Walt Kelly, 2 Fifth Avenue, artist, drawer of Pogo, 
New York City. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you a title, Mr. Kelly, in the association? 

Mr. Kelly. I am the president of the National Cartoonists Society. 
I forgot about that. I just took office last night. 

Mr. Caniff. Milton Caniff, New York City, N. Y. I draw Steve 
Canyon for Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate, and King Features, Syndi- 

Mr. Musial. Joseph Musial. I am educational director for the 
King Features Syndicate. I am director for King Features Syndi- 
cate and educational director for the Cartoonist Society. 

I live in Manhasset, Long Island, N, Y. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, gentlemen, you may be 

Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Beaser. You have a set method that you want to proceed in? 

Mr. Kelly. We thought we would do a little commercial work here 
and show you some of the ways we proceed in our business. 


However, before we get into that, I just want to take a moment 
to acquaint you in some degree at least with my own experience and 
I think it might be of use or value if the other gentleman would give 
you somewhat of their background. 

The Chairman, I am sure it would be very helpful. 

Mr. Kelly. I have been in the newspaper business and animated 
cartoons and cartooning generally since about 13 years of age. I re- 
gret to say that constitutes about 28 years now. 

I got into the comic-book business at one time back in 1940 or 1941 
and had some experience with its early days as before the 1947 debacle 
of so many crime magazines and so on. 

In tliose days there was even then a taste on the part of children for 
things which are a little more rugged than what I drew. So that I 
was faced with the problem of putting into book form, into comic 
form, comic-book form, things which I desired to make popular, such 
as an American fairy story or American folklore type of stories. 

I found after a while that this was not particularly acceptable. 

The Chairman. Would you raise your voice just a little. 

Mr. Kelly. I decided I would help clean up the comic-book business 
at one time, by introducing new features, such as folklore stories and 
thinks having to do with little boys and little animals in red and blue 
pants and that sort of thing. 

So when my comic book folded, the one I started doing that with, I 
realized there was more to it than met the eye. 

Perhaps this was the wrong medium for my particular efforts. 
Since then I have been in the strip business, the comic-strip business 
which is distinguished from the comic books. 

We have found in our business that our techniques are very effective 
for bringing about certain moral lessons and giving information and 
making education more widespread. 

Despite the testimony given before, I would say right offhand that 
cartoonists are not forced by editors or publishers to draw any cer- 
tain way. If they don't want to draw the way the publisher or editor 
wants them to, they can get out of that business. 

We have about 300 members of our society, each one of whom is 
very proud of the traditions and I think small nobility of our craft. 
We would hesitate, any one of us, to draw anything we would not 
bring into our home. 

Not only hesitate, I don't think any one of us would do it. That 
is about all I have to say in that regard. 

I would like very much to give one statement. May I do that now ? 

The Chairman. You may. 

Mr. Kelly. This group here endorses a particular statement by the 
National Cartoonists Society. That statement is this : 

The National Cartoonists Society views as unwarranted any additional legisla- 
tive action that is intended to censor printed material. The society believes in 
local option. We believe that offensive material of any nature can be weeded 
from the mass of worthwhile publications by the exercise of existing city, State, 
and Federal laws. 

Further, we believe that the National Cartoonists Society constitutes a leader- 
ship in the cartoon field which has previously established ]iopular trends. We 
therefore will restrict any action we take to continually improving our own ma- 
terial and thus influencing the coattail riders who follow any successful idea. 

We believe good material ovitsells bad. We believe people, even juveniles, are 
fundamentally decent. We believe, as parents and as onetime children ourselves^ 


that most young people are instinctively attracted to that which is wholesome. 
Our belief in this sound commercial theory is only in addition to our belief 
in free expression and the noble traditions of our profession. Our history 
•abounds in stalwarts of pen and pencil who have fought for freedom for others. 
For ourselves as artists and free Americans we too cherish freedom and the 
resultant growth of ideas. We cannot submit to the curb, the fence, or the 
intimidating word. The United States of America must remain a land where 
•the Government follows the man. 

Mr. Beaser. You are not saying that it is not possible to put into 
comics, crime comics and horror comics, what we have been talking 
about, tilings that might have some harmful effect ? 

Mr. Kelly. I think it is even entirely possible, sir. I think it is the 
duty of the creator of the material to see that that sort of thing does not 
get in there. 

The creator, ajjart from the producer or the publisher, is personally 
responsible for his work. 

I somewhat question the good doctor's statement before when he said 
in response to your question, sir, that perhaps the originators of this 
material might be under scrutiny, should be, as to their psychiatric 

We in the cartoon business sort of cherish the idea that we are all 
sort of screwball. We resent the implication that any man putting 
out that kind of stuff' is not a scre^vball. That is another thing wes 
fight for. 

Senator Hennings. I would like to say to Mr. Kelly that I think 
your statement is admirable. I am a frustrated cartoonist myself. I 
wanted to be one wdien I was a boy and I got off the track. I have 
noticed the chairman of our committee doing a good deal of sketching 
during some of the hearings. He is really a very tine artist. 

Without asking you to be invidious or to pass upon any thing ad 
hominem here with respect to any other publication, is it your opinion 
that there are certain publications being circulated and calculated to 
appeal to children in their formative years, their immature years, and 
from your understanding of the profession — and I call it one because 
it is; your strip is clean and enlightening as is Mr. Caniff''s; the very 
l)est in the business — do you not deplore, do you gentlemen not deplore 
some of these things that you see purveyed to the children and in a 
sense pandering to the taste, or do you think those things will right 
themselves ? Do you think sooner or later that the harm, if such exists, 
is outweighed by a good many other things ? 

Mr. Kelly. I think basically that is our position ; yes, sir. 

Senator Hennings. You realize, of course, the great danger of 
■censorship ? 

Mr. Kelly. I realize, too, sir, the great danger of the magazines in 

Senator Hennings. So it is a rough problem ; is it not ? 

Mr. Kelly. We are put in a rather unpleasant i)osition. 

We don't like to be put in a position to defend what we will defend 
to the last breath. 

The Chairman. Mr. Caniff do you feel the same way ? 

Mr. Caniff. Yes, sir; but if I may, I would like to point out here 
because it has not been done, we first of all represent the newspaper 
strip as contrasted with the comic book. It is a fact, of course, as you 
all well know, that the newspaper strip is not only censored by each 
•editor wlio buys it, precensors it, which is his right, but by the syndi- 


cate's own editors, who are many, and highly critical, and then this 
censorship includes the readers themselves, who are in a position to 
take the editor to task for printing your material and they are quick 
to respond. 

So we are never in doubt as to our status. There will never be 
any question after the fact. You almost know by the time it hits the 
street whether or not your material is acceptable to the reader. 

So we are in this white-hot fight of public judgment, which is as it 
should be. 

For instance, Walt's strip runs in 400 newspapers. Mine in 350. 
Blondie in 1,300 out of the 1,500 dailies. That means we have a 
daily circulation of 55 or 75 million. So that we are in front of the 
pack all the time and highly vulnerable, as a result. 

I bring this in here because I think it is germane on this principle 
alone, that we also have comic books publishing our material so that 
we are in this field as well. 

It is pointed toward perhaps a little audience in the simple sense 
that we hope to sell to the daily audience that reads the 10-cent book. 

But we are in effect as responsible as well. Insofar as deploring 
individual books, that is a matter of individual taste. Some books I 
like which you wouldn't like. I can't say blanketly, for instance, that 
I dislike all crime comics or I think they are bad. I think they are 
only good or bad as they affect you, the individual, and by the same 
token the individual reader of any age group is affected relatively 
rather than as a group and cannot be condemned I believe, as a group. 

The Chairman. That is a very fine statement. 

Mr. Canitf. Thank you very much. 

Would you like to add anything, Mr. Musial ? 

Mr. Musial. I am supposed to be educational director. I can see 
I have to give my job over to Mr. Caniff. He presented my thoughts 
better than I could. 

I would like to say, I think cartoons are of a sort and instead of 
making a speech at this particular time I brought in an editorial draw- 
ing which I made, which I think germane to the situation. I would 
like to place this on the board, with your permission. 

The Chairman. Would j'ou please do that. 

Mr. Kelly. Mr. Chairman, we would appreciate very much show- 
ing you a few of the things that we have been doing, one of which is 
a series of talks that I personally have been giving before journalism 
students, newspaper groups, luncheon clubs, and other respectable 
bodies and people in search of some sort of education, trying to point 
out what is the basis of the philosophical workings of the comic 

I think I can use my own strip as an example, and you can see what 
thought goes into what we do and how we do it. 

[Demonstrating,] In the first place, in every one of our strips we 
have a central character around whom we base most of our plotting 
and action. 

In my case it happens to be a character who is supposed to look like 
a possum, in effect; he is a possum by trade, but he doesn't really 
work at it because actually he happens to be related to most of the 
people that read comic strips. 

Now, he looks a little bit like a monster. This little character 
actually looks a little bit like a monster. 


On the other hand, he is supposed to be a possum and he has this 
turned-up, dirty nose and a rather innocent expression on his face 
which is indicative of a little boy because we usually have more 
readers that are little boys than are possums. 

With this innocent, sweet character are a number of rather dis- 
reputable characters. The reason I bring up most of these is that 
each one represents a certain facet of one man's personality, un- 
fortunately mine. 

Here is an alligator who at one time worked as a political expert 
for Pogo. Pogo ran for the Presidency of the United States, and, of 
course, didn't make it. Now, he, we thought, would make an excellent 
political type because he has a sort of thick alligator skin and some 
say a head to match, and so on. He is the sort of character that stands 
around street corners and smokes cigars. 

Along with that character are several other unfortunate people 
who got into the swamp. One is a dog who is very proud of being a dog. 
Of course, those of you who have been dogs in your time understand 
his position in that. 

Senator Kefauver. You are not talking about a doghouse, now ? 

Mr. Kelly. No, I am staying away from that. This particular dog 
is the kind of dog who feels that he knows all the answers and has a 
great deal of respect for his own judgment and we all know people 
like that. 

One other character who is probably pertinent to the kind of work 
I try to do is a litle character known as the porcupine. Now, this 
character is a very grumpy sort of character. He looks like most of 
us do when we get up in the morning. He has generally a sort of 
sour-faced kind of philosophy. It is a long time after lunch and I 
am drawing these from the side, so the}^ may have a sort of lean to 

He is very sour about everything, but he says, "You never should 
take life very seriously because it ain't permanent." These are the 
sources of things that go into comic strips. 

When I talk before journalism people I try to tell them these are 
various facets of one man's personality, mine, yours, that everyone 
has in him the ability to be all of the cruel, unkind, unpleasant, 
wonderful and pitiful people that exist in the world. 

That is my message to young journalism students, because they are 
in search of the truth. They sometimes fight it and sometimes are 
able to report on it. 

For myself, I have never received any intimidation nor have I been 
dropped by editor or publisher for anything I wanted to say. 

All I have ever been dropped for is because I was lousy. 

This character here, for example, is known as the deacon. He is 
one of those busybodies who assumes that everything he has to say 
is of such importance that I have to letter his script in a gothic 
type, which is sometimes readable and sometimes not. I assure 
you when you can't read it, it is not because I am hiding anything; 
it is because I can't letter very well. 

That nuin is willing to prescribe for everj^one and whatever he 
believes in very firmly, having borrowed it from someone else. He 
is out to do you good whether it kills you or not. That is not his 


Then every cartoonist being somewhat dishonest — cartoonists are 
very much like people — we sometimes introduce into our strips things 
which we hope will be cute and will get the ladies to write in and 
say "Ah." This is a little puppy dog who shows up every once in 
a while, and the ladies do write in and think he is very cute. 

I won't continue with this because we will run out of paper. Milt 
won't have any room. 

But I would like to just say that in delivering a serious lecture, 
one which involves trying to make these young people feel that it is 
possible in our newspapers as they exist today to express themselves, 
that we still have a great heritage of freedom in our press, one which 
we want to keep, one which if you are good enough you can make 
daily use of. 

Young people are somewhat intimidated before they become actual 
journalists so that they are a little frightened. They think that pub- 
lishers and editors are going to bring great ]:»ressure to bear on them; 
they are not going to be able to say what they would like to say, so 
a word coming from a silly cartoonist on the outside, a man who 
has grown at least to the point where he can buy his own cigars, 
they are refreshed by this sort of experience. 

We find as cartoonists that using our simple techniques of making 
drawings and making statements that the two somehow become en- 
twined, the people are willing to listen because we are making pictures 
largely, but willing to listen also because we do have, I believe, a great 
tradition of trying to express the truth in a decent and sometimes, 
we liope, humorous way. 

We believe that this is the way of America. We think it will 

I am sure you gentlemen are as much concerned with it as I. I 
know that is why we are here. 

The Chairman. Speaking as one member of the committee, Mr. 
Kelly, I can say that you cartoonists do make a great contribution 
to this country. 

Mr. Kelly. Thank you, sir. 

The Chairman. I am sure my colleagues will agree with that 

Mr. Kelly. I would like to add one thing to probably clear up what 
I was doing here. It probably escaped a lot of us. It escaped me. 

I was trying to show here the different facets of personality. It 
is my belief that each one of us contains all these horrible things 
which we sometimes see in crime books, not in any enlarged form, 
but way back in there are things. That is why I try to bring out 
and Milt tries to bring out and 300 other cartoonists in our society 
try to bring out other things which are much better than that. We 
believe as people read comic strips they will get to realize that all 
other people are very much like ourselves and that they will be rather 
patient and understanding in trying to judge their fellow men. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Kelly. That is a fine 

Mr. Caniff. Mr. Chairman, I would like to follow with this : As 
you can see, we are attempting not to debate with Dr. Wertham, whose 
opinion we value very highly, but rather to make this point, that the 
newspaper comic strip does two things, and we think this is extremely 


First, it is to entertain, as yon saw in the case of W^^^'s presenta- 
tion, just the presentation is entertaining, aside from his message. 

Second, the public servant aspect of this thing which we want to 
put on the record, because the horrible stuff is much more fascinating 
than the good stuff, but I think you agree with us that the good stuff 
should be on the record, too. 

Many of these are simply incidents in or daily lives, because we 
spend almost as much time doing the public service kind of thing as 
our regular strips ; in fact, it becomes an enormous problem. 

In this instance you will see, for instance, Mr. Musial here with 
Governor Dewey during a New York State Department of Health 
mental hygiene campaign to which he gave a great amount of time, 
and other ai'tists involved in the society as well. 

This is Dagwood Splits the Atom, which was pi-epared with the 
scientific views of Leslie Grove, General Dunning, and so forth. 

This has to do with the bond sale during the war, the use of the 
comic strips. 

This is a bulletin, rather a booklet, which was prepared for boys 
who are sent to Warwick School, to the New York State Reformatory. 

This is to tell them not how to get in the reformatory, but how to 
get out of it on the assumption they have read comic books. 

This is to show if they conduct themselves properly they will get 
paroled back to their parents. 

This obviously is to get kids to brush their teeth, using Dennis the 
Menace; of course he is not a menace; the title is apocryphal. These 
are simply incidents of the same thing. 

All the people know the Disney comics. The widest selling comic 
book in the whole country and in Canada is Donald Duck. It out- 
sells every magazine on the stand; that includes Life, the Saturday 
Evening Post. 

As a matter of fact, the Dell comic books constitute 30 percent of 
the comic books published. They think it is too much that they even 
dropped Dick Tracy because it was a crime comic. 

These pictures with General Dunning, General Eisenhower, Presi- 
dent Truman had to do with the bond campaigns in which we partici- 
pated. This is in this case Steve Canyon's Air Power. It so hap- 
pens, speaking of people condoning comic books or endorsing them, 
this is endorsed by General Doolittle. 

The Chairman. I might add it is endorsed by the junior Senator 
from New Jersey, too. 

Mr. Caniff. Thank you. Senator. I hope just for the simple busi- 
ness of letting you know how the other half live, shall we say, that 
we do some good with the very medium which is fighting for its life, 
if you will, and we think very' highly of the industry as such, because 
of its enormous potential. 

Thank you. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Caniff. 

Are there any questions. Senator Kef auver ? 

Senator Kefauver. I wondered, Mr. Kelly and Mr. Caniff, how 
do you feel you can get at this sort of thing? I know you don't think 
this is a good influence, some of these horror comics that you see and 
none of us like. How do you get at a situation like this ? 


Mr. Kelly. I don't know. I have no idea, sir. My personal phi- 
losophy on such a thing would be that we must educate people to not 
like that sort of thing or to at least not produce it. 

How we can do that, I don't know. It does seems to me that this is 
a manifestation of a particularly bad world situation at this time, that 
these are not in themselves the originators of juvenile delinquency 
so much as juvenile delinquency is there and sometimes these are the 
juvenile delinquents' handbooks. 

I would be frightened at doing anything about it, sir. 

Senator Kefal^er. Who are the men drawing these cartoons ? Are 
they members of your society ? 

Mr. Kelly. If they are, and doing it under assumed names, and in 
very bad style — they are not very good drawings actually — when a 
man is admitted to our society we don't just assume he can draw. 

Senator Kefauver. As a member of your society, is there a code that 
he is not supposed to draw obscene and horror stuff of this kind ? 

Mr. Kelly. Yes, sir ; our statement of things that we believe in en- 
compasses anything that a decent man would be proud to sign his name 

The Chairman. You have an established code, Mr. Kelly ? 

Mr. Kelly. We have, sir. 

The Chairman. I wonder if we could have a copy of that. 

Mr. Kelly. I will be delighted to send it to you. 

The Chairman. That will be tiled with the subcommittee's perma- 
nent file. Let it be exhibit No. 13. 

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 13," and is on 
file with the subcommittee.) 

Senator Kefauver. In substance what is your code? 

Mr. Kelly. In substance our code is that if any man chooses to take 
advantage of his position, a unique position, where he has learned 
to draw and so influence other people, if he wants to take advantage 
of that to spread indecency or obscenity or in any way prove himself 
to be an objectionable citizen, we don't have room for him in the 

Senator Kefauver. Now, this picture here of the woman with her 
head cut off seems to be by Johnny Craig. Do you know him ? 

Mr. ICelly. I don't know him, sir. 

Senator Kefau\'er. Do you think these may be assumed names? 

Mr. Kelly. I would doubt it. There are so many markets for our 
work that it takes a man who is interested in that sort of thing to 
pick up the job, I would say. None of our members need the work. 

Senator Kefauver. None of your members do things of this kind? 

Mr. Kelly. I haven't examined all their work, and I can't truth- 
fully sw^ear they don't, but I will be surprised and we will take action 
if they do. 

Senator Kefauver. What would you do if you found they did? 

Mr. KJELLY. They would violate our code. 

Senator Kefauver. What would you do about it ? 

Mr. Kelly. I don't know. Maybe invite them outside. 

Senator Kefauver. This one seems to be by Geans. 

Mr. Kelly. There was an astronomer — not, it couldn't be him. 

Senator Kefauver. Here is another one by Jack Davis. 

Mr. Kelly. We don't know them, really. 


Senator Kefauver. I think we all commend you gentlemen on hav- 
ing an organization of this kind in which you do promote ethical pro- 
cedure and try to get your members to only paint wholesome pictures 
and ideas. 

Mr. Kelly. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Mr. Musial had something he wanted to add. 

Mr. Musial. I wanted to present all the Senators with a copy of 
that drawing which interprets my feeling about what can be done. 
When the Senator asked about what we can do, I think the important 
thing that can be done and must be done and the only thing that can 
be done, is that once the American public is aware of the things that 
this committee is aware of, if we can get that over to the American 
people, then under our kind of democracy I think action will follow 
in a certain direction which will guarantee results. 

I hate to say this, but I suggest that the committee solicit our ser- 

The Chairman. We do that. 

Mr. Musial. Here is a story in the New York Times of last Satur- 
day. We have already contributed a book. I would like that included 
in the record, if I may. 

The Chairman. It will be included. Let it be exhibit No. 14. 

(The information referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 14," and 
reads as follows:) 

Exhibit No. 14 

[From the New York Times, April 17, 1954] 

Comic Books Help Curb Delinquency 


(By Murray lUson) 

Comic books, often accused of causing juvenile delinquency, also can be used 
to help cure it, in the opinion of A. Alfred Colien, superintendent of the State 
Training School for Boys at W^arwick, N. Y. 

Mr. Cohen was in the city yesterday with a batch of comic books that had been 
printed by youths committed to the institution. The books have been endorsed by 
John Warren Hill, presiding justice of the domestic relations court. He called 
them "a very helpful and constructive step." 

Justice Hill has been concerned with the increase of juvenile delinquency over 
the years, and has made many speeches trying to get people aroused enough to 
do something about it. 


The comic books that Mr. Cohen had were all alike. He presented one for 
inspection. It was drawn by Charles Biro, chairman of the child welfare com- 
mittee of the National Cartoonists Society, which has taken a special interest in 
the Warwick State Training School. The book's 8 pages, printed in color, told 
the story of the school. 

Mr. Cohen explained that the purpose of the book was to allay the fears of boys 
who were l)eing committed to the school, which is in Orange' County, 55 miles 
from New York. Probation officers in the city's children's courts, which are part 
of the domestic relations' court, give the books to boys who are being sent to 
Warwick for rehabilitation. 

Warwick, Mr. Cohen noted, is 1 of the States 2 institutions for delinquent boys. 
Consisting of 40 buildings and 800 acres, it now has 476 boys between the ages of 
12 and 16. Ninety-nine percent of them are from New York. Sixty youngsters are 
in the city's detention center at Youth House, awaiting placement at Warwick. 

"We get the boys who are judged by the courts to be seriously delinquent," 
Mr. Cohen explained. "We maintain a clinic serviced by a psychiatrist, a psy- 
chologist and caseworkers who decide when a boy is ready to be sent home. The 


superintendent, however, has the final decision. The average stay for younger 
boys is about 14 months ; for the older boys it's about 11 months." 

Mr. Cohen said that when he went to Warwick 9 years ago the school was 
getting "the gang-type youngster" who was characterized by loyalty to a gang 
but who was, for the most part, "normal" in that he did not have serious emo- 
tional disturbances. 

today's type described 

The type now going to Warwick was described by Mr. Cohen as the "lone wolf, 
who is very disturbed, very suspicious, can't form relationships with people, feels 
the world is against him, has never known the meaning of love, and has only 
experienced failure." He went on to say : 

"Many of these kids literally have never had a hot meal before they came to 
Warwick, never had a full night's sleep and have known only real conflict in the 
home. The amazing thing is that they behave as well as they do. 

"I have never met a youngster among the 8,000 who have passed through- 
Warwick in the time I have been there who hadn't been beaten physically by 
experts — drimken parents, psychotic parents, or sadistic relatives. We know 
from first hand that the woodshed doesn't work." 

Warwick, Mr. Cohen said, is "an open institution" that does not believe in con- 
finement. It offers boys an academic education, vocational training in farming, 
and various recreational activities. 

Comparatively recently, five boys at the institution were admitted to the local 
high school, Mr. Cohen said. All completed their courses. One went on to take 
a premedical course, and another won a college scholarship. 

Mr. MusiAL. I got a big kick out of it, the New York Times printing 

If any of the press want this, it is available. 

Again, like the Chinese who say 1 picture is worth 10,000 words, I 
would like to add this to it, 1 comic artist supplies more cheer than 
10,000 doctors. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Musial. 

Does counsel have any further witnesses ? 

Mr. Beaser. No further witnesses. 

The Chairman. The subcommittee will stand in recess until 10 
o'clock tomorrow morning. 

(Thereupon, at 4: 30 p. m., a recess was taken, to reconvene at 10- 
a. m., Thursday, April 22, 1954.) 

(Comic Books) 


United States Senate, 
Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, 

To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, 

New York, N. Y. 

The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to recess, in room 110, 
United States courthouse. New York, N. Y., Senator Kobert C. 
Hendrickson (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding. 

Present : Senators Hendrickson, Kef auver, and Hennings. 

Also present : Herbert J. Hannoch, counsel ; Herbert Wilson Beaser, 
associate chief counsel, and Richard Clendenen, staff director. 

The Chairman. The morning session of the subcommittee will be 
in order. 

Counsel, will you proceed to call the first w^itness of the morning. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Gunnar Dybwad. 

The Chairman. Good morning. Will you be sworn ? 

Do you swear that the evidence you are about to give before this 
subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Dybwad. I will. 

The Chairman. You may be seated. 


Mr. Beaser. Mr. Dybwad, will you state, for the record, your full 
name, address, occupation, and position you hold ? 

Mr. Dybwad. My name is Gunnar Dybwad. I am executive direc- 
tor of the Child Study Association of America, located at 132 East 
74th Street, here in New York City. 

The Chairman. Do you have a prepared statement, Mr. Dybwad ? 

Mr. Dybwad. I am the executive director of the Child Study As- 
sociation of America, a parent education organization which was 
established in 1888. 

All this time our organization has worked to help parents gain a 
better understanding of their children and of their role and function 
as parents. 

Our interest has been, and still is, the strengthening of family liv- 
ing in this country. While we have, of course, a deep interest in all 
children, our function has been to work with the average family, and 
we have left the field of delinquency, mental deficiency, and mental 



illness in children to the organizations devoted to those particular 

Therefore, when I appear here today upon invitation by your com- 
mittee counsel, to report on the viewpoint of our association on the 
subject of comics, I must empliasize that our concern has not been 
with the relation of comic books to delinquency in general. 

Eather, out of our longstanding work in the held of children's 
reading, our children's book committee has given attention to the 
concern of individual parents with the comics reading of their own 
children — to allow or prohibit them, how to guide their choices, prob- 
lems of management, et cetera. 

This, naturally, has been our area of interest, since we are not an 
agency organized for sociological and psychological research, nor a 
pressure group organized for social action and reform. 

In offering guidance to parents, the absence of any definitive studies 
of the effects of comics reading on children's emotions and/or behavior 
has been a serious handicap to us as to everyone dealing with this 

We have, therefore, depended upon the judgment of individuals 
whose experience and professional standing should make their opin- 
ions significant. 

As you know, these opinions have differed widely. In this area, 
therefore, as in other areas of child psychology and education, we 
have found our function to be that of sorting out what seems to us the 
most authoritative and useful advice from responsible and reputable 
sources, and of making this available to parents for their guidance. 

Against this background, I would like to state briefly what we 
actually have done in this field. Our activity began in 1937 when the 
educational consultant to our children's book committee, in a book 
about children's reading, discussed comic-strip reading, referring to 
the Sunday color supplements. 

Mr. Beaser. Who is tliat ? 

Mr. Dtbwad. Miss Josette Frank. Her background is an expert in 
children's reading. She recently celebrated her 30tli anniversary 
with us as an educational consultant. She is an educator. 

Mr. Beaser. Not a psychologist ? 

Mr. Dybwad. No; Miss Frank, not Dr. Frank, as a result of this 
discussion a few years later, one of the large publishers of comics 
magazines invited this staff member to scrutinize its comics magazines 
and make suggestions for improving and safeguarding them for 
children's reading. 

Subsequently, she was retained by this publisher as an educational 

I would like to say parenthetically. Miss Frank is only part time on 
our staff. 

She was asked along with other people from the educational and 
psychiatric fields, to help work out and maintain a code of practices 
for the guidance of their editors. This was in 1941. 

In 1943 the Child Study Association set about making a survey of 
all comic magazines, through its children's book committee, in order 
to be better able to guide parents who sought our advice in this 

Our original intention was to offer some selected listing of suitable 
magazines in various categories. But because of the fluid nature of 


the medium, the changes from month to month in any one magazine, 
or in the titles or in the publishing houses themselves, this proved 

It was therefore decided to list categories, and criteria for judging, 
which might be useful to parents in guidijig their children's selec- 
tions. So far as I know, ours was the first agency to concern itself 
with this whole subject, and we surely found ourselves groping in an 
uncharted field. 

I should like to place this survey in evidence here, quoting from it 
now only that part which relates to the subject of your inquiry, crime 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, sir. Without objection, this 
document will be made a part of our permanent files, the entire docu- 
ment. It will be exhibit No. 15. 

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 15," and is on 
file with the subcommittee.) 

Mr. Dybwad. I might say this study was divided into two parts, an, 
analysis of content and according content evaluation. On crime and 
detective comics this was said in 1943 : 

Stories featuring crime, G-men, and police run through many of the magazines. 
As a rule the crimes are on a grandiose scale involving elaborate plotting such as 
bank robberies, hijacking, smuggling, gang wars, sabotage, and, currently, black- 
market racketeering. The inevitable pattern is that the criminals are killed or 
brought to justice and the law emerges triumphant. Crime does not pay in 
the comics. Modern methods of crime detection are played up in some stories. 
A few are mystery stories, but rarely of the detective type depending rather on 
speed and gunplay than on unraveling the mystery. Police and G-men are 
usually (but not always) represented as being on the job and couii)etent. 

Comment and evaluation : 

Children are fascinated by tales of wrongdoing and evil. The avenging of 
wrongs and the punishment of evildoers is a child's own fantasy pattern and 
such themes run through much of their literature as well as their play. The 
modern setting of these stories, however, has given rise to a fear that they may 
'give children ideas" of things to do. The motivation toward unsocial acts lies 
nuich deeper than any casual contact with ideas on a printed page. Neverthe- 
less, lest children already on the verge of unsocial behavior may find here a blue- 
print for action, petty crimes, such as pocket picking, shoplifting, et cetera, 
should be omitted. From the point of view of sound ethics, children are best 
served if crime is made unattractive and unsuccessful. The child reader is likely 
to be less burdened when crimes remain entirely in the adult world — committed 
neither by children nor against children. Such crimes as the kidnaping of a 
child, for example, are definitely threatening to young readers. 

Mr. Beaser. I got lost. You seem to say that there is no competent 
evidence that what appears in the crime comics has any effect upon 
the child and yet you seem to say also that children should be kept 
away from tliese crime comics which serves as a blueprint for a child 
who is maladjusted. 

Mr. Di^wAD. First of all, Mr. Counsel, I emphasize this was 1943. 
I each time very carefully document the year in which the statement 
has been made. 

The Chairman. Mr. Dybwad, you were talking about the strip 
comics, were you not? 

Mr. Dybwad. No, in 1943 by that time there were comic books. 

The Chairman. Your discussion started out about the strip comics. 

Mr. Dybwad. In 1937 it was primarily strip comics. In 1943 we 
already had the beginnings of a comic industry. You will see as I 


unravel this how we very much come hiter to the point which you 
have in mind, Mr. Counsel, if I may proceed for the moment, and 
I will be glad to answer more specifically then your questions. 

In 1944, the Child Study Association conducted a meeting which 
it announced as Looking at the Comics: An appraisal of the many 
aspects of children's comics reading. To this meeting were invited 
educators, parents, and specialists in many fields relating to children, 
comics writer, artists, and industry representatives. This meeting 
highlighted the controversial aspects of this increasingly popular 
entertainment medium for children and stimulated further critical 

In 1948 our quarterly magazine. Child Study, published a sym- 
posium of psychiatric opinion dealing largely with the question of 
aggression and fear stimulated by comics reading, radio, and movies. 

This article, entitled "Cliills and Thrills in Kadio, Movies, and 
Comics" brought out quite sharply the strong differences of opinion 
among prominent experts as to the effects of these mass media. 

May I quote briefly from this symposium, wliich I also wish to offer 
in evidence, emphasizing that it represents opinion gathered more 
than 6 years ago ? 

The Chairman. Thank you, sir. 

Again, without objection, this document will be made a part of our 
permanent records. Let that be exhibit No. 16. 

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 16," and is on 
file with the subcommittee. ) 

]VIr. Dybwad. I quote very briefly this paragraph : 

All those interviewed were agi'eed on one point : that radio programs, movies, 
and comics do not in themselves create fears, but for certain children and under 
various conditions, do precipitate or stimulate anxieties lying beneath the sui'face 
ready to be awakened. There was agreement, too, that children differ in their 
fear reactions to various fictional situations. It was on questions of the harm- 
fulness, harmlessness, or positive value of these experiences for children that the 
greatest divergence of opinion developed. 

Over and over again the experts stressed the need for careful, large- 
scale research studies before definitive conclusions could be reached. 

Later that year, 1948, the then director of our association, Mrs. 
Sidonie Matsner Gruenberg, wrote an article for the magazine, 
Woman's Day, which I also wish to place in evidence and from which 
1 would like to quote briefly. 

The Chairman. That document will be made a part of our perma- 
nent records. Let it be exhibit No. 17. 

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 17," and is on 
file with the subcommittee. ) 

Mr. Dybwad. Here are a few paragraphs of interest to your com- 
mittee : 

Like almost any new form, the comics books begin harshly and awkwardly. 
They must have time to improve and refine their skills and even more time to 
enlist serious and responsible artists and writers. Since their inception they 
have improved in the drawing and writing and printing, and also in the variety 
and quality of their content. But if the ceiling seems to have been raised for 
some of the comics, the floor has also been lowered in others. Many of the 
promoters use the easiest appeals to reach the largest numbers, and children are 
the chief victims, as with all catch-penny undertakings. And numerous pro- 
ducers have taken advantage of the interest in comics developed through their 
use by the Army for educational purposes during the war. Many of these 
abominable and irresponsible creations bluntly exploit crime, violence, brutality. 


and sexy stuff, for a readymade market of men and older boys. On the stands, 
these are as accessible to children as the familiar comics addressed to them. 

We can no more separate the child's reading of comics from the setting in which 
he lives than we can separate the child from schools or newspapers or athletics 
or neighborhoods. The parent's task becomes that of managing, not the comics 
as a problem by itself, but the growth and development of the child. 

We have to protect children against excessive addiction and against the most 
objectionable samples ; and we have to guide them toward more discriminating 
selections. This is e.specially difficult because the very same violence and crudi- 
ties and shrillness that we most dislike and fear in the comics assault our 
children through the movies and the radio as well. 

We cannot fight what is objectionable in the comics (or in other commercial 
means of entertainment or information) by calling for more censorship or more 
police guards. 

An association of comics book publishers is being formed to promote a code 
(something tliat a few of the larger publishers had already undertaken) to 
guide in maintaining standards. Time will tell how sincere or how effective 
this effort will be. Bi;t we need a wider and a more active and more intelligeat 
interest on the part of parents for making their community a good place for all 
children to live in. 

In a followiip of its 19-i3 comics survey, our cliildren's book commit- 
tee examined in 1949, 213 magazines and found, along with some wel- 
come changes in some categories, the following, quoted from a report 
I also wish to place in evidence. 

The Chairman. Again, Mr. Dybwad, this will be made a part of 
our permanent files. Let that report be exhibit No. 18. 

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 18," and is on 
file with the subcommittee.) 

Mr. Dybwad (reading) : 

The most regrettable change since the early survey has been the increased 
number of these magazines dealing with "real" crime, and those featuring sex- 
ually suggestive and sadistic pictures. These are presumably not addressed to 
children, are, perhaps, not even attractive to many of them. 

Nevertheless, they are available at 10 cents for young people to purchase, and 
are prominently displayed on newsstands. Some of these are about as uncouth 
and savage pictures and stories as can be found anywhere. Any kind of decent 
self -censorship on the part of their pul)lishers and handlers would have ruled 
them off the stands long ago, along with their counterparts in sexy candid- 
picture periodicals. 

This is the end of that particular quote from that survey which deals 
more pointedly with your interest. 

Mr. Beaser. You made a statement in 1949 that these are presum- 
ably not addressed to children, perhaps not even attractive to many 
of them. 

Mr. Dybwad. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. Is that quite in line with your 1943 findings in which 
you seem to indicate that some children who may be emotionally mal- 
adjusted may be attracted to these violent comics? 

Mr. Dybwad. Yes, but I think there is quite a difference between 
the violence, the aggressiveness which you, after all, find in our famous 
old stories about the Indian wars and so on, and that type of stuff of 
which have some examples here from which some children — now, I 
said some — seem to sliy away because certainly we know there are 
lots of children who buy comics, large numbers of children, and who, 
although they are available for the same dime at the same place, very 
often don't select these comics, but the others. 

So this is all we said. We neither said that the publishers might 
indirectly hope that the children buy them, nor that children will not 
buy them, but a large number will not buy them. 

49632—54 9 


Xevertlieless, the danger exists that there are many children who 
^Yill bury them and one cannot sini])ly say these are comic books for 
children and, therefore, no concern to us in children's literature. 

Mr. Beaser. In your study did j-ou also examine advertisements in 
these publications to see whether they were addressed to children or 

Mr. Dybwad. At the various points we have talked about this. 
Again I must remind you that this was a study published in 1949, and 
I think this point Mrs. Gruenberg made in 1948 of the bottom falling 
down more and more, I think is an observation we all have made. 

The crime and horror comics of 1949 were not quite as they are in 
1943 and 1954. 

Mr. Beaser. It is getting worse, you mean ? 

Mr. Dybwad. It is getting worse steadily. 

Mr. Chairman, in view of your committee's special concern with the 
effect of the sadistic and obscene crime and horror comic books Avhich 
have made their appearance in recent years, I have quoted from pub- 
lished statements of our association to indicate to you that we lost 
no time in alerting the community to the problems created by these 

As a matter of fact, no other organization that I know of gave as- 
much thought, time, and effort, during those early years, to a critical 
review of the comics as did the Child Study Association of America. 

I would like to depart here a moment from my prepared statement 
to point out that these two studies to which I have referred are now 
obviously outdated in many respects. We would not have made the 
study in 1949 had we not thought that the 1943 study should be 
brought up to date and neither study has been listed or sold by u& 
for several years. 

In making this statement I am making the statement because a 
good deal of misinformation has recently been circulated with regard 
to these studies. We have not used them lately. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, your 1943 studies are now being quoted 
in support of your horror comics in 1954? 

Mr. Dybavad. They also have been quoted by some people as ma- 
terial we circulate today and most unfortunately in a recent article 
so described and that is a completely false and untrue statement. 

We are not circulating these and have not for several years. They 
have not even been listed on our publications list. 

Mr. Beaser. Your association's position is quite different in 1954. 

M. Dybwad. With regard to crime comics : yes, sir. 

I am addressing myself to the particular interest of your committee 
and not to comics in general. 

I have shown that as early as 1949 we presented our opniion, pub- 
licly and repeatedly, that the problems of the comics called for both 
sociological and physicological research and for concerted community 
action. As I have pointed out to you, neither one was our function, 
and it is regrettable that no effective action has been forthcomings 
from other quarters. 

In conclusion, may I quote from a book brought out by the Child 
Study Association in 1952, entitled "Our Children Today," and pub- 
lished by the Viking Press. A chapter on New Arts of Communica- 
tion includes the following statement which seems to me very perti- 
nent to your inquiry here : 


Not only as individual parents, for our own boys and girls, but as a community, 
too, we have a responsibility concerning everything that reaches children. Pri- 
vate conscience and public responsibility must be invoked to check the excesses 
in which all of these media have indulged. The willingness of some of the 
producers of television and radio programs, movies, and comics to exploit morbid 
interest in horror and violence bespeaks a greater concern for profits than for 

The community has a right to expect that communications of all kinds shall 
be governed by public interest rather than by survey ratings or circulation 
figures. "Public" includes children. Not all programs or movies or comics can be 
geared to the young. But to pile up horror and violence in programs or movies 
deliberately timed to catch the children's eyes and ears suggests a flagrant disre- 
gard for their welfare. The combined resources of an informed community can 
be drawn upon for standards and criteria as to what is and what is not suitable 
for young listeners and readers. The combined skills of the industries and 
specialists in communication might well be focused on more creative achieve- 
ments for children. 

Comic books are of many kinds and varieties. Ever since 1916, 
the Child Study Association of America has consistently evaluated 
children's books and magazines, published book lists for parents, and 
prepared anthologies of children's stories which have become hall- 
marks of good children's reading. 

Our work in this field has won universal recognition and has con- 
tributed not only to the marked increase in children's reading, evi- 
denced by library and book sale figures, but also has helped to achieve 
the increasingly high quality of today's books for children. 

Similarly our association has tried to assist in promoting higher 
standards in comic-book literature. Obviously much remains to be 

If out of this committee's deliberations there will come new and 
positive suggestions as to how this aim can better be furthered, a real 
contribution will have been made to the well-being of our children. 

The Chmrman. Thank you very much, Mr. Dybwad. You did, 
at the outset, mention something of the Child Study Association of 
America, but for the record would you give us a little more informa- 
tion about this organization, its history, when it was organized, what 
its internal structure is, and so on ? 

Mr. Dybwad. It is an organization which goes back to 1888. It has 
functioned under several names. Federation of Child Study, Society 
for the Study of Child Nature. Its present name and incorporation 
took effect in the District of Columbia in 1924. 

Since that time we have operated under that name. We are an 
organization which is governed by a board of directors of outstand- 
ing citizens. We have an advisory board of prominent men in the 
field of education, psychiatry, sociology, social work, and related fields 
concerned with the well being of children. 

Our activities are many. Children's reading is only one of them. 
We have been concerned with the publication of books and pamphlets 
and articles for children and since you asked the question, I can 
present to you a list in which such publications are made available 
to the public. 

The Chairman. This document will become a part of the record, 
Mr. Dybwad. Let it be exhibit No. 19. 

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 19," and is on 
file wath the subcommittee.) 


Mr. Dybwad. Since tlie earliest years of our organization we have 
specialized in parent discussion groups, in groups of parents coming 
together for the discussion of problems of child development for 
the purpose of achieving a greater competence as parents. 

We have worked with mass media. The Child Study Association 
liad the first radio program in the field of parent education. We have 
been consultants to radio, TV, and to other organizations in these 

The Chairman. Do you have an annual budget? 

Mr. Dybwad. We have an annual budget, a rather small annual 
budget for a national organization, and there is no secret about it. 
Our annual budget is about $125,000, sir, which comes from contribu- 
tions, from foundations. 

We have a membership, we have a quarterly magazine, Child Study, 
which goes across the country into many foreign countries. 

We have had, through the decades, consistently high relations, inter- 
national as well as national. 

The Chairman. Do you work very closely with the Children's 
Bureau ? 

Mr. Dybwad. Well, we have had consistent contact with the Chil- 
dren's Bureau through the years. We have had contact with them 
in several fields, most lately with their public health nursing depart- 
ment because they are interested in working with us and we with 
them, in terms of improving the skills of public health nursing. 

The Chairman. The reason I ask is that we find that they have 
certain budget needs that somebody has to meet some day and prob- 
ably the Congress will have to meet those needs. 

Do you know anything of that problem ? 

Mr. Dybwad. Yes, sir. I have been in public welfare for a long time. 
Perhaps the most notable thing which binds the Children's Bureau 
and us together is mutual poverty, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. That is quite likely a common occasion. 

All right, counsel ? 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Dybwad, you were formerly the child welfare 
director in the State of Michigan ? 

Mr. Dybwad. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you have a background in social work ? 

Mr. Dybwad. I do, sir, and law. 

Mr. Beaser. As a person with a background in child-welfare work, 
what is your opinion of the material, crime, and horror comics ? Wliat 
is your opinion of their effect upon children ? 

Mr. Dybwad. Now, I want to speak slowly and deliberately so that 
we carefully segregate the various categories. 

If you refer to much of wdiat you just now removed from your ex- 
hibits, I would like to talk there on two levels. 

The one is the individual effect of a comic book on a given child's 

The other is the cumulative effect in a community where this type 
of literature in effect becomes the only literature readily available to 
children wdiere this type of literature is displayed on every street 
corner and characterizes the climate of the community. 

I think there is no question that this is a symptom, this kind of 
comic-book distribution in certain sections of our city, and, of course, 
I am aware not only from New York, but from the Middle West that 


there are certain stores which feature these and that these certain 
stores are usually found in areas which are already depressed and 
typical of many other socially inappropriate matters as the third and 
fourth ^rade saloons and all the other establishments which go with 
vice and crime. 

Mr. Beaser. And in the high-delinquency area, too ? 

Mr. Dybwad. In the high-delinquency area we find these crime 
comics and they have, cumulatively, a very bad effect. 

Now, I come secondly to the effect of these crime comics on individ- 
ual children. There I am in a more difficult position to make specific 
statements because as one who has had clinical contact I was associated 
for many years with the psychiatrist for the New York State Training 
School for Boys at Warwick. I was clinical director of the State 
training school in Michigan, and previously I worked in reformatories 
where you have the older adolescent group, both in New Jersey and 
the State of Indiana and for sometime, here in New York State. 

I have had contact with literally thousands of young delinquents. 
Clinically, I cannot offer, sir, a single instance which has come to my 
attention which, should I say, happened to come to my attention, in 
which we were able to link a given offense with the reading of that 
particular individual of a given comic book. I know such statements 
have been made from time to time. I don't dispute them. I have 
never seen them clinically documented. 

I have only seen wild statements without any kind of clinical 

I would say, however, that I am well aware that there are certain 
bo3's who have been attracted to these comics along with many, many 
undesirable habits. They also were addicted to very heavy smok- 
ing, they were drinking in the very early teens, they had very 
aggressive sexual impulses which they acted out, so I would say, of 
course, I am aware, not from my present activities, but you went back 
to my professional task, in those years, of the fact that these comics 
were part and parcel of the life of a child delinquent. 

I wouldn't deny that there might be such a connection, Mr. Counsel. 
I only sa}^ so far I have not seen the clinical evidence. 

I think we should hope that, for instance, a person like Dr. Peck or 
others in a position to make such studies would give very serious 
thoughts to a clinical evaluation of this. 

Mr. Beaser. Dr. Peck testified yesterday. If you were running the 
training school in Michigan, would you as director permit some of 
these horror and crime comics to be circulated among the boys ? 

Mr. Dtbwad. No. 

Mr. Beaser. Why ? 

Mr. Dybwad. For this reason, sir, when you deal with other people's 
children you have particular responsibility to exercise much greater 
care than if you deal with your own child. When you run a training 
school you must try to meet a common denominator of most parents, 
and therefore, regardless of the fact that perhaps some of these 
parents would not have objected, others would, and therefore, as a 
matter of public policy when you are dealing in a public institution, 
this type of comic book was not allowed. 

Now, that has nothing to do, sir, with the fact that we had or had 
not evidence that they were harmful. When you run a training 


school, you take certain precautionary measures regardless as to 
whether you have proof that anything is definitely harmful. This 
was a i:)olicy of our educational group and I assure you in both insti- 
tutions this type of comics was not allowed. 

However, comic books were allowed. 

The Chairman. When you found them they were removed 

Mr. Dybwad. They were removed promptly which, of course, was 
difficult, Mr. Chairman, because I think we might now well say here 
that this was not just the literary fare of our children, but also of those 
who took care of the children. Therefore, to what extent there was an 
exchange of comics between the people in charge of the children and 
the children themselves, you can speculate yourself. 

Therefore, also, it was difficult to effect a distinct policy. In gen- 
eral, our staff had the mandate to remove undesirable comics. The 
cottage father in cottage A might employ quite different standards 
from the cottage father in cottage C. 

We had no list of comics. As you know, from the problem your 
committee faces, you can't list them, every month there are some new 
ones. But there was definitely the policy, since there was serious ques- 
tion about these comics, and I think nobody has raised the question 
that there is a question about these comics, that they should be kept 
from children. 

Mr. Beaser. The question is the extent of the effect upon delinquency 
of these crime and horror comics. 

Mr. Dybwad. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. And also the emotional upsetting of children. 

Mr. Dybwad. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. We had, yesterday, exhibited a crime comic in which 
a child was placed in a foster home. To make it brief, the foster 
parents turned out to be werewolves and the child turned out to be 
a werewolf and everybody eats everybody. 

As a child-welfare worker, what effect does that have on a child 
about to be placed in a foster home? 

Mr. Dybwad. Of course, this kind of comic book which, by the way, 
relates very closely to a very famous comic strip in the newspapers 
v.'hich for a long time was exceedingly harmfid, just as harmful as 
crime comics, by its sadistic distortion of the social- work profession — • 
and you know what I am referring to — this kind of thing is exceed- 
ingly damaging because you are dealing there with a specific type 
of child, a child who typically has been deprived of the most essential 
care in the early years, a child who is particularly insecure and senti- 
tive in terms of the one thing he doesn't have, a home. 

And, therefore, any kind of phantasy which suggests that a home 
he might go into might have such factors is patently terrible, and 
I must say that a person who prints such a thing must have sadistic 
tendencies themselves, which are quite unusual, because that is not 

This is purposeful sadism. 

Senator Kefauater. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question ? 

The Chairman. Yes, indeed, Senator Kef auver. 

Senator Isjefauver. Mr. Dybwad, what is your salary as director? 

Mr. Dybwad. $10,000, sir. 


Senator Kefauver. Of the Child Study Association of America? 

Mr. Dybwad. Yes. 

Senator Kefauver. How long have you been in this position? 

Mr. Dybwad. Two and a half years. Most of the things I have 
reported, practically all, took place before I was with the association. 

Senator Kefauver. You are also a lawyer, you say ? 

Mr. Dybwad. I had legal training. I specialized in the field of 
criminology and penology. 

Senator Kefauver. You do not have any cases for clients? 

Mr. Dybwad. No, sir; I am not a practicing lawyer. I am not 
admitted to the bar. 

Senator Kefauver. You do not accept any retainers from anyone? 

Mr. Dyb-svad. No, sir. 

Senator Kefauver. So your $10,000 is your own professional salary ? 

Mr. Dybwad. In New York University, where I am teaching in the 
evening, is giving what they refer to as compensation. 

Senator Kefauver. I think I understand what you mean. 

Do you have children? 

Mr. Dybwad. Yes, sir ; two children beyond the comic-book age. 

Senator Kefauver. You were talking about the care you take with 
other people's children. Do you allow your children to read this kind 
of comics? 

Mr. Dybwad. Very interestingly they have not read them. They 
have not read that kind of comic. In other words, while I think it is 
exceedingly dangerous to generalize from one's own family, neverthe- 
less if you want a case in point, while my children read comics in large 
quantities they never bought, exchanged, brought home, had hidden 
in their rooms or otherwise in their posession, this type of crime comic. 
Whether that reflects on their mother's high ethical standards, I do not 
know, but this is the fact. 

Senator Kefauver. Mr. Dybwad, there is something I find a little 
difficult to understand. You have gotten out various and sundry 
reports. Here is a report by Miss Josette Frank back in 1949 quite 
favorable to comics generally. 

Mr. Dybwad, In general, yes. 

Senator Kefauver. And here is one by Josette Frank back in 1948 
quite favorable to comics ? 

Mr. Dybwad, That is right. 

Senator Kefauver. Here is one by Mrs. Gruenberg, This was re- 
ported in Woman's Day in 1948, quite favorable to comics. 

Mr. Dybwad. Yes. 

Senator Kefauver, This is the one that the comics industry, Gaines 
and tli« people who publish these horrible comics, which undoubtedly 
do very much harm — these are articles that they always quote in sup- 
port of their position. We also had reports back in 1941, 1942, and 
1943 ; I have forgotten the dates, all quite favorable to comics. 

Mr. Dybwad. Yes. 

Senator Kefauver. If you want to really be fair about the matter 
and follow up your testimony here today as to the kind of comics that 
we are investigating here, the playing baseball with heads, violent 
murder, cutting off people's heads with an ax, why not get out a 
report about these instead of just the favorable ones? 

Mr. Dybwad, We have, sir. 


Senator Kefauver. I have not seen it. 
Mr. Dybwad. I think the point I quoted- 

Senator Kefatjver. What report are you referring to? 

Mr. Dybwad. In 1949 when I said some of these were "as uncouth 
and savage pictures * * *." 

Senator Kefauver. Is that from Miss Frank's report? 

Mr. Dybwad. A survey in 1949 in which she participated. 

The Chairman. The Chair might say to the Senator from Ten- 
nessee that Mr. Dybwad put about 3 or 4 reports in the record this 

Senator Kefauver. They were all fairly favorable and I have read 
those you furnished here. Of course, you do say that some of the 
horrible ones are not good and then you go on to minimize and water 
it down and say, after all, it is not a very important matter. 

What I am getting at is that Miss Frank has written several reports 
for you. 

Mr. Dybwad. That is right. 

Senator Kefauver. Then, of course, Mrs. Gruenberg has written 
reports for you ? 

Mr. Dybwad. That is right. 

Senator Kefauver. Is she on your staff ? 

Mr. Dybwad. No longer. 

Senator Kefaua'er. Is Miss Thompson on your staff? 

Mr. Dybwad. No. 

Senator Kefauver. Miss Frank is no longer on the staff? 

Mr. Dybwad. Oh yes ; she is a part-time employee of our organiza- 

Senator Kefaum^r. Who heads up your staff? Who writes the re- 
ports ? 

Mr. Dybwad. In this particular field this would be Miss Frank, 
because she is the educational associate of our children's book com- 

Senator Kefauver. Let us stay with this a minute. In other words, 
this supervising, reading comics and giving the position of the Child 
Study Association of America as to what effect they have upon chil- 
dren, that is in charge of Miss Frank ; is that correct ? 

Mr. Dybwad. Staffwise. However, if you will permit me, Mr. 
Chairman, I will have to point out one fact. Througliout the period 
we have worked with children's books, we have worked through a chil- 
dren's book committee. I pointed out before that Miss Frank is a 
staff consultant to that committee. This committee meets every week. 

In other words, it is not an inactive committee, it is a committee 
which meets every week at our headquarters, is the one which actually 
does the reviewing of books. 

It is not so that Miss Frank reviews all books and then passes on 
her criteria to the committee. It is the other way. 

Senator Kefauxt-r. Here is one report, liooking at the Comics — 
1949, by Josette Frank and Katie Hart, for the committee. 

Mr. Dybwad. That is right. In other words, that report was writ- 
ten by them and Katie Hart was a committee member. Miss Frank 
was the staff associate. 

In the first report you will find that the chairman of the committee 
is listed, and Miss Frank as educational associate. 


Senator Kkfauver. We all know in the actual working of the mat- 
ter the committee conies in, the statf director who is giving it full 
time is actually the one who does the research and reading and has 
the principal hand in guiding and directing what is in the reports. 
Is that not true ? 

Mr. Dybwad. Senator Kefauver, I wish 

Senator Kefauver. Try to tell me. 

Mr. Dybwad. I wish you could within 15 minutes go to 132 East 
74th Street where you would meet 20 ladies of varying ages, social 
positions, professional background, and number of children, engaged, 
if not in phj^sical, at least in verbal combat about the children's books 
thej' have read in the past week. This is an active committee and al- 
ways has been which meets weekly, which has 20 to 30 active mem- 
bers, nevertheless, and 15 or 20 would be present at any one meeting. 

Senator Kefauver. Anyway, Miss Frank is the head of the statf 
that handles the comics and places evaluation on them^ 

Mr. Dtbwad. That is right. 

Senator Kefauver. Who is Lauretta Bender, M. D. ? 

Mr. Dybavad. She is a senior psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital, 
which is one of the institutions. I think she is one of the most distin- 
guished personages in the field of child psychiatry. 

Senator Kefauver. She has something to do with this? 

Mr. Dybwad. She was one of many people whom we in those days 
asked for their opinion and Lauretta Bender is in this particular study, 
matched, for instance, by Dr. Alpert, who had a radically different 
point of view from Dr. Bender, 

None of these people was connected— — 

Senator Kefauver. Well, we are beating around the bush about this. 
In the child-study format here you have, and let me read a little part 
of this which you put out to the children : 

A discussion of children's fears : Child studies have suggested inquiry into the 
possible relation of movies, radio, comic thrillers to fear in childhood. Accord- 
ingly, the following psychiatric opinions have been gathered by Josette Frank 
and are presented here for the guidance of parents. Miss Frank is educational 
associate on the Child Study Association staff and consultant on children's books, 
radio, and comics. 

Nathan W. Ackerman, M. D., psychiatrist, is director of the Child 
Development Center in New York City. Lauretta Bender, M. D., is 
the associate professor of psycliiatry, New York University, Medical 

Then you go on with some other people. Now, it is strange to me 
how, if you are giving out directions to parents, how frankly your 
associate is taking the part of the comic-book industry. Why do you 
not say here that Josette Frank, in addition to being with Child Study 
Association, is also the consultant on the children's reading, or con- 
sultant on the editorial advisory board of Superman, D, C, National 
Comics, and is paid by the comics-book industry ? 

Mr. Dybwad. Wait a minute, sir. Please don't say that she is paid 
by the comic-book industry. This is not so. She is paid by a particular 
comic-book publisher. I want to put this on the record very strenu- 
ously which is quite a difference. 

When I work for the Schlitz Brewing Co., I don't work for the 
bev^erage industry. I work for one particular company and I may 
have my good reasons why I work for Schlitz and not for Ballantine. 


Senator Kefauver. I know, but you are giving her credentials here. 
You are giving her good credentials, but you do not say to the parents 
that are reading this and want to be guided by her that she is also 
paid by a leading comic-book publisher. Why do you not give both 
sides of the picture ? 

Mr. Dtbavad. The assumption is that there are both sides to it. 
Miss Frank has also been a consultant to innumerable book publishers. 

Senator Kefaux-er. Here is Mrs. Gruenberg. Mrs. Gruenberg writes 
a very, very favorable article in favor of comic books. 

Mr. Dybwad. She certainly does not. 

Senator Kefauver. Reading it all in all, it is quite favorable. It 
minimizes the horrible-crime ones. 

Mr. Dybwad. It does not, sir. 

Senator EJE^AU^^sR. She is writing about Mickej'' Mouse and Little 

Mr. Dybwad. It does not. I think from what I put in the record, 
you could not by any means say — Mrs. Gruenberg speaks here ''many 
of those abominable and irresponsible creations bluntly exploit crime, 
violence, brutality, and sexy stuff." 

If that is an endorsement of crime comics, sir, I don't know. 

Senator Kefauver. But, sir, in the back in her conclusions there is 
no condemnation. It just says "we cannot fight what is objectionable 
in the comics — or in other commercial means of entertainment or in- 
formation — by calling for more censorship or more police guards. An 
association of comics-book publishers is being formed to promote 
a code — something that a few of the larger publishers had already 
undertaken — to guide in maintaining standards. Time will tell how 
sincere or how effective this effort will be." 

The Chairman. What is the date of this, Senator? 

Senator Kefauat-r. 1948. 

But we need a wider and more intelligent interest on the part of parents for 
making their community a good place for all children to live in. 

The paragraph preceding that is rather easy. 

Now, Mrs. Gruenberg, has she not had some connection with comic 
books ? 

Mr. Dybwad. She had a long time ago, several years ago, sir, as 
evidenced in the hearings of your own committee. I want to point 
out that these things have been a matter of public record for j'ears 
and years. 

Senator Kefauver. Why up here does she not list the "Director of 
Child Study Association when it also would be fair to give parents 
notice that Mrs. Gruenberg was also on the pay of the comic-book 
industry ? 

Mr. Dybwad. She was not on the pay of the comic-book industry, 
sir. That is not a correct statement. 

Senator KEFAxnER. Of one of the publishers of comic books? 

Mr. Dybwad. Of one of the publishers of comic books. 

Senator Kefauver. Here are two principal peo])le you are using 
through a fine-sounding association which undoubtedly some good 
people are members of, feeling they can do some good. Two people 
you are using in the comic-book field who evaluate comic boolfs. crime 
and horror books, turn out to be paid or to have been paid by publishers 
of comic books themselves. Is that not true ? 


Mr. Dybwad. Yes, sir. 

Senator Kefauvek. Do you think that is a fair presentation. 

]Mr. Dybwad. It is a perfectly fair presentation. 

Senator Kefauver. If you think that is fair, then that is all I 
want to know about your association. I think it is traveling under 
false colors. I think you ought to at least give the fact that these 
people are paid or have been paid by comic-book publishers. 

I do not think it is a fair evaluation to leave to parents of children 
these rather favorable appraisals of horror and comic books written 
by someone who has been paid by the publishers without you even 
divulging the fact. 

If you had stated it in here, then they would be on guard. 

But according to all this literature they occupy some big position 
with a school and hospital and you conceal the fact that they were 

I would like, Mr. Chairman, at this point, to read the footnote on 
page 223. 

The Chairman. The Senator from Tennessee may proceed. 

Senator IvEFAimsR. From Dr. Wertham's book, Seduction of the 
Innocent, it is footnote 4. I will read the preceding paragraph and 
then the footnote if I may : 

The names of experts for the defense and of the institutions with which they 
are connected have been printed in millions of comic books and are fnll-page 
comic-book advertisements in the Saturday Evening Post and the Saturday 
Review of Literature and are statements of publishers or their spokesmen. The 
chairman of the section of the criminal law of the bar association commentinj^ 
on the writer in the two special comic book issues of the Journal of Educational 
Psychology found it "disappointing" that in a purportedly olxjective study, experts 
do not make a complete disclosure of their interest. He mentions that when he 
wrote to one of the experts to write about this, she did not respond. 

Then the footnote is : 

According to the Kefauver Senate Crime Committee ( special committee to 
investigate organized crime in interstate commerce), the toUowing persons, 
among others who are thought of as individual critics by the public have been or 
are employed by the comic book industry : 

Dr. Jeanne A. Thompson, acting director, Bureau of Child Guidance, Board of 
Education, New York City ; Sidonle Gruenberg, professor of education, New York 
University ; Dr. Lauretta Bender, child psychiatrist in charge of the children's 
ward of Bellevue Hospital, New York City ; Josette Frank, consultant on chil- 
dren's reading. Child Study Association of America. 

The anioiTnt paid ranged from $3()0 a month over a period of many years. One 
expert, Professor Zorbaugh, served as research consultant in Puck, the comic 
weekly. One comic book publisher alone spent $750 a month on four children's 
experts who endorsed their products. 

Dr. Bender is also on this list, I believe, is she not, as one of your 
people ? 

Mr. Dtbwad. That is right. She is one of the persons. 

Senator Kefauver. Mr. Chairman, I just say under those circum- 
stances, while I do not question the personal integrity of this witness, 
the opinion of the Child Study Association in the comic book field will 
have little weight with me. 

The Chairman. In the light of the colloquy which has taken place 
between the Senator from Tennessee and Mr. Dybwad, I think it might 
be well, sir, if you would furnish for the record a list, a complete list 
of the membership of your organization. Could that be done ? 

Mr. Dybwad. Goodness, sir, this would be quite a task. I think it 
could be accomplished. 


The Chairman. You have a board of directors, too ? 

Mr. DtbWxIlD. We have a board of directors of citizens. 

I think I am representing an organization which has worked for 
65 years. I should have an opportunity now, Mr. Chairman, in all 
fairness, to defend not myself, but all the board of directors against 
the accusations and I am sorry to say the misconstructions. 

The Chairman. I am sorry to say, Mr. Dybwad, there liave been no 
accusations. The Senator has a right to observe. 

Mr. Dybwad. That is right, the observations which were made here. 

Again I emphasize I have no personal interest in the particular 
matters because I made a point to say that all this transpired before 
I came to the Child Study Association. 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. The Senator from Missouri. 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Dybwad, how is your association sup- 
ported ? 

The Chairman. That is in the record, sir. 

Mr. Dybwad. It is in the record. Memberships, contributions, 
foundation support, sale of literature, consultation fees from the book 
industry because not only have we served the comic books industry, 
we are serving constantly the book industry. 

Like any university, we get fees for our services and we have 
never felt that there was anything untoward about this. 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Dybwad, do any of the publishers of these 
books contribute to the support of your organization ? 

Mr. Dybwad. Definitely. Publishers have contributed to the Child 
Study Assocation for years and years in varying amounts. 

You will find the most distinguished publishing houses in this 
country over a period of 20 and 30 years have contributed. 

Senator Hennings. Do a number of the publishers of the so-called 
crime and horror comics contribute to the support of this organ- 
ization ? 

Mr. Dybwad, I think you would hardly find anyone of the crime 
comic book publishers listed. 

Senator Hennings. You say hardly find. 

Mr. Dybwad. I can say this for the record, positively. I know of 
no one publisher who specializes in the particular comic books you 
have pointed out here as horror crime stories who under the name 
of his publishing firm contributes. 

But, sir, you will not get me under oath to deny that somebody 
might contribute. I don't know what Mr. X 

Senator Hennings. I am not trying to get you under oath to deny 
anything you do not want to deny. 

Mr. Dybwad. I can make this definite statement, that not a single 
publishing house under its own name contributes. 

I also can say to the best of my knowledge not a single individual 
connected with this industry contributes. 

But I cannot possibly know whether one of these persons or his 
wife might not be a member. I have no such knowledge — a detailed 

Senator Hennings. Then you are suggesting that possibly the 

Mr. Dybwad. To the best of my knowledge, no relative of any one of 
these publishers, no friend, associate in any way, has, to my knowledge, 


which goes back to 21/2 years, contributed in any way, shape, or fashion 
to the Child Study Association of America. 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Chairman, have we a list or has there been 
requested a lit of contributors ? 

Mr. Dybwad. I can give you an alphabetical list. 

The CiiAiKMAN. And the record of the board of directors. 

Mr. Dybwad. The board of directors. 

Senator Hennings. And of the contributors? 

Mr. Dybwad. Of the contributors. You can have a complete list, 
and members, too, I mean, because in effect they might be the same. 
This is published information. 

Senator Hennings. Do you not think it would be to your advantage, 
certainly, assuming that what you have told us to the best of your 
recollection is sustained by the facts, to have such a list and have that 
made a part of the hearing? 

Mr. Dybwad. The only difficulty is that we do not have such a list 
readily available, but it can be produced. The membership list I can 
produce immediately because naturally we have them on stencils. 

(The documents referred to were received at a later date, marked 
"Exhibit No. 20," and are on file with the subcommittee.) 

Senator Hennings. You do not feel, then, sir, that your organiza- 
tion is what might be called a front for the publishers of these crime 
magazines ? 

Mr. Dybwad. No more than fronts for Viking, Harpers, Whitman, 
Doubleday — name any one of the large publishers who have liberally 
contributed over decades — and I make this point — to us in the face of 
the fact that we are reviewing books of these very same publishers. 

Therefore, there is no differentiation as between the publishers. 

I want to go on record, for instance, here and gladly point out 
that some of these publishers' gifts to us have been a considerable 
amount of money. This is, I think, the usual way in which organiza- 
tions of this type are maintained and this is the reason why such 
organizations of a board of directors have lay people, leading citizens 
in a community, upon whose good name and reputation rests the repu- 
tation of the organization. 

And for that reason I will be very pleased to submit this list. 

Senator Kefauver. Actually, you know a lot of organizations get 
good names to be out in front for them. 

Mr. Dybwad. That is right, sir. 

Senator Kefauver. They get committees of high-sounding names, 
but the important thing is, who back in the staff isdoing the work and 
the research and preparing the reports and guidin<T the thing. 

So my own observation is that in the field of comics the people you 
rely upon, three people, and the only ones here I have seen that you 
base your study on, are Mrs. Gruenberg, who has been in the pay of 
comic publications; Dr. Bender on the pay of the advisory board, and 
being paid by one; Miss Josette Frank, who is either being paid or has 
been paid by the comic books. 

So as far as I can see, your comic book section of your child study 
group is certainly colored by the fact that these people are not work- 
ing primarily for you. They are working for the comic book pub- 


So that I think you have perpetrated — well, I would go so far as to 
say that you have deceived the public in presenting these reports, com- 
ing from a high-sounding association, with undoubtedly a good name, 
and I am sure you do a lot of good work, by putting out advice to par- 
ents, when the principal direction and the writing is being done by 
people who are in the pay of the industry, or publishers themselves, 
particularly when you do not divulge that fact. 

Parents have a right to look at this, and they say, "Well, here this 
person. Dr. Lauretta Bender, is professor of psychology at the New 
York University, and member of the advisory board of the children's 
Child Study Association," whatever she is. 

In fairness to the public it ought to be "paid by the comics,'- the 
same is true of Josette Frank, the same is true of other persons. 

Of course, you would not do that because then they would lose their 
nonpartisan approach to the matter. 

I think this part of your study is a fraud and a deceit to the pub- 
lic and the public ought to know about it.^ 

The Chairman. The Chair would like to hear from you on that, Mr. 

Mr. Dybwad. There are two points. No. 1, Senator, you were in 
conversation perhaps and did not hear when I very deliberately 
pointed out, and I want to repeat this very carefully for the record, 
that these studies, as all our work on children's reading, are done by 
a committee. I pointed out very specifically that this is a commit- 
tee which meets weekly 

Senator Kefauver. Just one minute here, sir. Here is Woman's 
Day, September 1948, put out by the Child Study Association. You 
were so proud of it, sir, you brought it up here to be put in the record. 
This came from you, written by Sidonie Cruenberg and shows a couple 
of happy children reading I don't know what kind of crime books. 
That is no study by any committee. 

Mr. Dybwad. I am sorry this is not the study I referred to. I put 
in evidence 2 studies; 1 in 1943 and 1 in 1949. Those are the only 
studies I referred to here. 

Senator KEFAimsR. Why do you not get out a study for 1954, and 
talk about these books ? 

My conclusion is that you are not doing this for the reason that your 
people, and perhaps your association, too, are being paid by the indus- 
try itself and that you do not want to criticize, very much, anyway, the 
crime book industry. 

Now, I cannot see why, in view of the fact that these horror and 
crime comics have taken so much a turn for the bad, you would go on 
and let people quote what you said in 1949 and 1943. Why you do not 
go out and get another one and bring it up to date and condemn, as 

1 The Child Study Association of America, Inc., issued a supplementary statement on the 
relations of the association to the comic-book industry which included the following : "In 
1944, Mrs. Sidonie M. Gruenberg, who was for 25 years the director of the Child Study 
Association of America, acted with 2 other educators as consultant to Fawcett Publica- 
tions for a period of 10 months. These individuals met with writers and artists, helped 
to establish criteria and to see that these criteria were followed. In 1941 National 
Comics Publications asked the association to help them to improve their publications and 
keep them safe for young readers. The board of directors gave this request serious con- 
sideration. It then agreed that Miss Josette Frank should accept the major responsibility 
for working with this publisher. As a part-time member of the association's staff, the 
board felt that she should be free to make her own arrangements as to fee. The board 
also decided tliat the association, working through its total staff, and with the children's 
book committee, should assume a supervisory relationship to this project. For this service, 
the association has received $50 monthly." An investigator for the subcommittee found 
that Fawcett Publications contributed about $1,500 to the Child Study Association of 
America, Inc., in 1943, 1944, and 1946, and National Comics contributed $2,500 to the 
association between October 1947 and November 10, 1952. 


you hiive slightly here, anyway, reluctantly perhaps, condemned 
this kind of horror comics. 

The Chairman. The Senator from Tennessee has made his posi- 
tion in this matter emphatically clear. 

I would like to hear from the witness now. 

Mr. Dybwad. It is a little difficult for me to have to go back re- 
peatedly to my original statement. I pointed out before, sir, that 
our association by its avowed purposes is not a social action organiza- 
tion, is not an organization in the field of delinquency. 

We have never in any other respect worked in this particular field. 
Therefore, it is entirely within keeping of our purpose that we have 
merely, as I have said in my statement, alerted, and I think if you 
will read over my statement, the combined statements, and they are 
very strong, they go back to early days when people had not yet 
written popular articles. This was stated at a time when other 
people had not yet spoken — this is a fact I want emphasized — we had 
called attention to these things, but w^e are not the National Probation 
and Parole Association, w'e are not the United States Children's 
Bureau, and you know the testimony which came to you as chairman 
of the previous committee from them. 

We are not an agency working in the field of delinquency, never 
have ; this is not our purpose. 

Therefore, we called merely, as I pointed out in my statement, at 
several times for community action, but it was not our place to do so. 

I said very specifically other organizations in this country, many 
of which I support with my own contributions because I have been 
in this field, are presumably working in this area. 

Therefore, when you raise a question, why have we not done some- 
thing, I think the question might well be put, why has nobody else 
done anything? 

At least we have very specifically and I emphasize very specifically 
strenuously, you can't say more than these things should be off the 

I think that makes it a very pointed thing. We didn't say they 
might be harmful, but that they should not even be around. 

I think we have made our position clear, but we are not a social 
action group and particularly not a social delinquency group, but 
others are in this country and, therefore, I must say that in all fair- 
ness the question should be put to the other organizations who w^ere 
apprised by us of this situation. 

This was the first point. 

The second point which I must make is this : the particular comic 
book publisher for wdiom our staff associate is adviser, and which is one 
of the largest publishers of comic books, to my mind, does not particu- 
larly, by his products, play a role here in this committee. 

For instance, when counsel talked about advertising matter, being 
aware of the fact that this had not played a particular role in these 
earlier studies I went through every single issue of the last issue of 
these things and I would like to find someone pointing out to me one 
advertisement which is of the nature which Mr. Beaser refers to. 

Now, I personally don't think much of the Atlas strong boy, it is 
poor taste. There are some people who even feel there might be 
some question how good it is. 

But in general these advertisements here seem to be the popsickle, 
the twin bicycle, and that is about all. 


So, No. 1, in terms of advertisements in these books, and I repeat 
I went through every single one of the latest editions, this being a 
l)opular magazine, of course — the June and July editions is already 
there — there is not one advertisement which I found was in any way 

I went through these with great labor, I wouldn't read a comic strip 
in a newspaper, if you paid me for it. I have never read comics; 
I never understood why my children read comics, but dutifully appear- 
ing before your committee, I looked through these things. 

Many of them are in poor taste, but unless you say, sir — and let us 
be very specific — that Gang Busters should be off the air because what- 
ever broadcasting company produces this is working on the same cheap 
level as the crime publishers you are referring to, unless you say that 
Mr. District Attorney is a radio program which is so offensive that 
it should be off the air and with the endorsement of many of these 
programs, by the FBI, by Mr, Hoover, by the chiefs of police, unless 
you say that, I would say unless you see any connection in this inves- 
tigation, which counsel assures me was an investigation of crime 
comics, with a particular publisher to whom our consultant has given 
service — as a matter of fact, repeating what I have said before, that 
comics to me are distasteful entertainment and that I indeed was very 
glad when the day came when comics were no longer regular fare in 
my house in competition with books, but now books alone seem to 
entertain my children^ — I would say with that proviso before that this 
is not something to my taste, that we can point not with pride, but with 
satisfaction, sir, to the job which has been done by that particular 
publisher — I don't care to name his name — if the committee wants it, 
all right — but that particular publisher is keeping these particular 
comic books on a distinctly higher level — and again I am careful, I say 
on a distinctly higher level — than any comic books to which your 
committee wants to address yourself. 

Now, I can readily see that some people will indeed say, Gang 
Busters, along with comics, as well as radio programs, Mr. District 
Attorney, Mr. Hoover's FBI program, all are potentially distasteful. 

I could sympathize as a grownup person with such a view, but that 
w^ould be rather an extreme view and a kind of censorship which would 
be intolerable. 

But I say as far as comic books go, I am content to stand on the 
record, and I want to make myself quite clear, on the record, which 
shows that this particular publisher has exercised infinitely greater 
care with those publications. 

There is a good reason for it because work is being done. I have in 
my files letters in which, for instance, our educational associate. Mr. 
Counsel, protested a certain advertisement, not the kind you meant — 
it v/asn't an advertisement about guns — but it was a question of good 
taste and our consultant wrote a fairly long letter to the company 
and said, "I wonder if we are not slipping in our code." 

I don't think, Mr. Chairman, I need to present in evidence the par- 
ticular code of that organization. You have it in your files, your 
counsel assured me. 

The Chaikman. Are vou talking about the code that was promul- 
gated in 1948 ? 

Mr. Dybwad. No. You see that is why I wanted in all fairness to 
insist on differentiating the industry from the individual publisher. 
This is a code, if the counsel does not have it, I certainly shall put it in 


evidence gladly here, a code for the educators of that particular group 
of publications. 

1 have no hesitancy to let you see this. 

The Chairman. Without objection, it will be received and incor- 
porated in the record at this point. Let it be exhibit No. 21. 

(The information referred to was marked "Exhibit No. '21,'' and 
reads as follows:} 

Exhibit No. 21 

National Comics Publi cation's, Inc. 

editorial policy for superman d-c publications 

1. Sex. — The inclusion of females in stories is specifically discouraged. 
Women, when used in plot structure, should be secondary in importance, and 
should be drawn realistically, without exaggeration of feminine physical 

2. LangiKiffe. — Expressions having reference to the Deity are forbidden. 
Heroes and other "good" persons must use basically good English, through some 
slang and other colloquialisms may be judiciously employed. Poor grammar is 
used only by crooks and villains — and not always by tihem. 

3. Bloodshed. — Characters — even villains — should never be shown bleeding. 
No character should be shown being stabbed or shot or otherwise assaulted so 
that the sanguinary result is visible. Acts of mayhem are specifically forbidden. 
The picturization of dead bodies is forbidden. 

4. Torture. — The use of chains, whips, or other such devices is forbidden. Any- 
thing having a sexual or sadistic implication is forbidden. 

5. Kidnaping. — The kidnaping of children is specifically forbidden. The kid- 
naping of women is discouraged, and must never have any sexual implication. 

6. Killing. — Heroes should never kill a villain, regardless of the depth of the 
villainy. The villain, if he is to die, should do so as the result of his own evil 
machinations. A specific exception may be made in the case of duly constituted 
officers of the law. The use of lethal weapons by women — even villainous 
women — is discouraged. 

7. Cr/«(e.— Crime should be depicted in all cases as sordid and unpleasant. 
Crime and criminals must never be glamorized. All stories must be written and 
depicted from the angle of the law — never the reverse. Justice must triumph 
in every case. 

In general, the policy of Superman D-C Publications is to provide interesting, 
dramatic, and reasonably exciting entertainment without having recourse to 
su<h artificial devices as the use of exaggerated physical manifestations of sex, 
sexual situations, or situations in whicli violence is emphasized .sadistically. 
Good people should be good, and bad people bad, without middle-ground shading. 
Good people need not be "stul'ty" to be good, but bad people should not be excused. 
Heroes should act within the law, and for the law. 

Mr. Dybwad. It is a publisher which lists our staff member as an 
associate. These people have come to us with questions. 

Again I want to be careful not to advertise the company. I will 
say that within 6 months' time they considted us on a commercial 
proposition which was brought to them regarding the exploitation com- 
mercially of one of their comic figures with some commercial article 
and on advice of one of our consultants this project was dropped. 

I can stand on this record, sir, and I will say this : if after this 
hearing today my board of directors would come to me and say, "Don't 
you think we should put before this employee the ultimatum to resign 
from that position V I would say "No." 

For this reason, sir: You hardly can say that it is deceiving the 
public when you allude to a fact whicli has been printed, now I don't 
know how many times, because this is not a secret arrangement. This 
is not a secret retainer some lawyer gets from a company wiiich 
nobody knows about. 

49632—54 10 


This is a matter which is printed in every one of these comic books 
so that any parent who sees Peter Pan today in his child's possession 
knows right there that Josette Frank is a consultant. 

Now, I am not a mathematician. I can't imagine how many times 
it has been printed, but it seems to me quite a strange statement to 
say that this was done sort of behind the backs of the public. 

Senator Hennings. At this point, may I ask one question on that 

Do these consultants who take fees from the publishers turn the fees 
over to your association ? 

Mr. Dybwad. No, sir ; and I will tell you why not. 

Senator Hennings. You do not know what the fees are ? 

Mr. Dybwad. I don't know what the fees are. I will tell you this, 
sir: No. 1, very important — Miss Frank is a half-time employee of 
the Child Study Association of America. She is working for us 214 
days by hourly count, you see. So that she is not doing this work 
on our time. 

It was merely felt that there should be no secret made that this was 
her regular employment. 

No. 2: This goes back considerably in our records. I could not 
perhaps even produce the record, but only the record of board mem- 
bers. When this offer was made there was a discussion in our board of 
directors as to whether it was appropriate for our consultant to thus 
be engaged. 

Now, that goes back to 1941. It was the opinion of our board of 
directors that if a comic publisher whose products they surveyed at 
that time, I mean the board of directors, which seemed to them as un- 
objectionable as comics can be to an intelligent, mentally alert per- 
son, it seemed to them when a comic publisher of repute, who tries to 
produce a good product, comes to an educational organization and 
does not ask for some front people, but asks for consultation on a 
continuing basis, it would certainly be most derelict on our part to 
say that because there are some poor comic publishers with which this 
man has nothing to do at all, we should refuse our services. 

The association knew at the time that the services of our consultant 
would be made known in every comic book and they have been ever 

At one point our consultant demanded that her name be removed 
from one of these l^ooks, and it was so removed until a complete re- 
vision of editorial policy of that particular magazine occurred. 

The point I want to make also is that our consultant in addition 
on a regular basis worked with a radio program of that producer, of 
that particular comic-book producer, all merely to indicate that this 
is consultation which can be shown on the record to have been active 
and fruitful. 

However, I want to emphasize again this is still an on-going process. 
I would be totally incapable of being an editor of this kind of publi- 
cation because it goes against my grain and taste, but that is another 

I still say, sir, that the magazines of this particular publisher have 
nothing to do whatever with the subject of your inquiry. 

Mr. Beaser. You are talking about the National Comics Publica- 
tion putting out Superman and so forth ? 

Mr. Dybwad. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you know the ownership of National Comics 


Mr. Dtbwad. I am not intimately acquainted with it. I know it is 
a company of several people. 

Again my ignorance is clue to the fact that this goes back so many 
jears. It was at the time carefully gone into by our attorneys and 
by our people. 

Mr. B'EASER. Would you be surprised, Mr. Dybwad, to learn that one 
of the owners of the Superman group. National Comics, is listed in 
the certificate they must file, as F. Iger, and that her husband is 
publishing this stuff ? 

Mr. Dybwad. I would be surprised, but for the fact that a few days 
ago this was intimated to me. Otherwise, I would be thoroughly 
surprised and this is a question 

Mr, Beaser. That is material issued by the American Comics 
Group, one of the owners being listed as Frederick H. Iger. 

Mr. Dybwad. I never heard of the man, completely unknown to 
me and as far as I have known, he has not been one of the people 
Avith whom we have had contact. I have absolutely no knowledge of 

I again emphasize an investigation was made in 1941 whether at 
that time such a relationship existed. At that time one should have 
gone in this. Mind you, sir, crime comics were not in existence at 
that time and I think we must be very mindful of this, that the state- 
ments which we made earlier, particularly the first one, preceded by 
far the actual crime comic. 

Even at that time we warned against a tendency, but this kind of 
stuff, as you know, sir, is new. 

Now, whether we should have had a continual annual investigation 
by a detective agency of these people, that is a matter of conjecture. 
We never have had contact with this particular person. 

I still say that this publisher here does not produce such stuff, save 
for the fact that you may object to a killing on Gang Busters or what 

The Chairman. Are you sure that this publisher has, as you 
referred to him, no connection with any of these crime comics ? 

Mr. Dybwad. I don't Imow why this would play a particular role 
as far as we are concerned. We are concerned, were concerned and 
are concerned- 

The Chairman. It plays a role as far as this subcommittee is 

Mr. Dybwad. That is right. As far as we are concerned, here is 
a publisher who produces what would go, I think, with any ob- 
jective examiner as one of the best groups of comics in this country 
relatively speaking. 

Mr. Beaser. You can't talk of him, Mr. Dybwad, as him. That 
is owned by 6 or 7 stockholders. One of the stockholders is the wife 
of the same person wiio is putting out the crime and horror stuff that 
you see up there. There is a connection. 

Those magazines may be clean. But the same owner, or the wife of 
the owner, is also putting out the other kind of material. 

Mr. Dybwad. Now, what do you think we should do about this 
matter, because you seem to imply this requires action. Should we 
therefore say we are no longer interested in helping this publisher to 
produce these things ? 


You see, we are bringing up a new fact I did not know. As far as 
we knew this was a comic publishing company which produced these 
magazines. Beyond that, behind it we didn't go, 

I don't know whether you know, sir, when this particular woman 
married this particular man and began to publish that particular 
comic, I think we are going a little bit afield as far as we are con- 

However, this new fact I will call to the attention of our board of 
directors and I hope from the minutes of this committee I can get full 

But this does not detract from the work we have done with this 
publisher and from my statement that these comics seem to have very 
little connection with the inquiry of this committee. 

I want to reiterate that the function of our organization also has 
relatively little to do with the inquiry of this committee as far as we 
are concerned. I would not have come to testify here unless I had 
the invitation of the counsel and I did so gladly because the par- 
ticular problem of your committee, delinquency, not comics, but 
delinquency, is not the area in which we work and in which I am now 

Professionally it was the area in which I have spent, sir, some 
15 years, and, therefore, I have on a personal basis certain compe- 
tence in the field. 

Senator Kefauver. Mr. Chairman, just for the record, I see one 
other here. I mentioned Gruenberg and Dr. Bender, Josette Frank, 
I find one other here on your board that is also apparently receiving 
pay from the National Comics. That is Dr. S. Harcourt Peppard. 
He also is on your board ; is that not true ? 

Mr. Dybwad. No, 

Senator Kefauver. You have him listed here as one of the people 
that you rely upon, Dr. S. Harcourt Peppard, M. D., as acting direc- 
tor. Bureau of Child Guidance, New York City Board of Education, 
He is listed on the front here as one of the authorities that apparently 
has something to do with these studies, 

I thought the record ought to just show that he is also, along with 
Dr. Bender and Dr. Frank, on the editorial advisory board of this- 
comic publication. 

Mr. Dybwad. Mr. Chairman, may I point out that as we indicated 
here we went at the time to a number of people, of the very few people 
who in those days were concerned about comics. 

Now, Dr. Peppard, who I think long since has died, was an em- 
ployee of the city of New York. As far as I recall he has never been; 
even on our advisory board. He was never on our board of directors. 
He happened to be an intelligent man who early saw the problem of 
comics as something to be concerned with. 

I want to point out that in this particular document the Senator 
from Tennessee has made reference to so many times here, they are 
all very prominently listed, just as prominently as anything else, some 
strong condemnation of comics, radio, and others, and I quote, for 
instance, here from Dr. Alpert who says : 

Comics have a thrill, make aggression too easy and too colorful and in that 
way threaten eruption of the child's own precariously controlled aggressive im- 
pulse. Fear inevitably follows. 

And so on. 


In other words, in this compendium you will find just as prominenL- 
]y displayed very strong condemnation of comics, or, should I say, 
very strong feelings about the bad effects of comics as there were 
statements to the effect from some other people that there were no 
such effects. 

I think it was a particular contribution again of our organization 
that it put out these statements and pointed out, and again I say in 
the spring of 1948 that there was considerable question about the 
■comics and that future study would be indicated. 

Mr. Beaser. You are concerned, though, that those statements ;ire 
now being misused? 

Mr. Dybwad. Sir, by whom are they being misused ? Nobody has 
told me they are being misused. You made reference to it in some 
conversation sometime ago. I would be most interested in hearing 
from this committee to what extent they are being misused. 

The only use I have seen is in an undocumented comment, false 
statement, in the book of Mr. Wertham. 

Mr. Beaser. You yourself said that the 1943 studies are being dis- 
tributed now as though they were current. 

Mr. Dybwad, I, myself, said to the contrary. 

Mr. Beaser. Not by you, but by others ? 

Mr. Dybwad. I said that most carelessly Mr. Wertham in his book 
implied that they were being distributed. 

Senator Hennings. And they are not being distributed ? 

Mr. Dybwad. They have not, sir, and have not been for years. 

So that Mr. Wertham who wrote this book takes stuff out of con- 
^text. His entire book has not one documented reference of our 'ma- 
terial so that it is impossible for me to go through tens of thousands 
•of pages to see where he picked this particular sentence. 

In other words, he has presented an entirely unscientific study which 
is a mockery of research, said this was being circulated. Our studios 
have not been circulated because we are fully aware that they wero 
made at a time when this material was not there. 

However, I think, Mr. Chairman, we, and I speak with a straight 
face, should come in for some commendation that very early already, 
and in the strongest language we pointed at the dangers of these 

If you will read over the various statements which I have put into 
my particular remarks here, you will find that they add up to some 
vei^ strong statements. 

Senator Heknings. May I ask this, as a matter of information ? 

The Chairman". Senator Hennings. 

Senator Hennings. If you felt strongly as you did in 1948 about 
what you felt to be the dangerous trend, the unhappy trend in the 
nature and character of these publications, why did you not do any- 
thing more recently now that that fear has been fulfilled? 

Mr. Dybwad. 1952 — that was the reason that I referred to that — 
we once more have pointed this up. 

Again, remember, we are not a social-action bureau. We are not the 
•children's bureau; we are not the National Probation and Parole 

However, to be specific, may I, with your permission, read from a 
forthcoming book, which is published today, sir, it so happens, by 


Miss Josette Frank, which is published by Doubleday, a book on chil- 
dren's reading. 

Miss Frank in this book— and I have to admit, Mr. Chairman, I 
don't have the page quotation. I shall be glad to document this. I 
only saw the galleys — Miss Frank has this to say : 

Despite all that may be said for the validity of comics as a form of communica- 
tion, one cannot dismiss lightly the other side of the picture. The most ser- 
ious parental objections are not to their technique or to their art, but to their 
content. The apparitions to which this medium of comic lends itself are of course 
abhorrent to parents and probably not very attractive to numbers of children. 

The fact is that irresponsible publishers have found it both easy and profitable 
to exploit the taste of a part of the reading public for horror and sex. For the 
most part exi^erience and observation show that these are not the comics writ- 
ten and enjoyed by a large number of children. Still they are available on the 
newsstands along with the children's favorites and their lurid covers and un- 
couth promises of what may lie within may well lure the curious of whatever age. 

There is no more excuse for licentious publishing in this field than any 
other and it is perhaps either more unconscionable here because it is more avail- 
able than any other reading matter. The publishers have a responsibility and 
certain of them recognizing the excess to which this fluent medium has been 
subjected have set up standards of their own in consultation with interested 
psychologists and educators. These standards not only have to do with content, 
but quality of printing and art work and they establish both positive and nega- 
tive guides, what is and what is not suitable for children. 

Policy rules out bloody or bat figures, sadism and torture, and ridiculing of 
law-enforcement agencies. It sets certain standards for lettering and dialog. 

This is a quotation by which certainly Miss Frank on April 22, 1954, 
once more goes on record through the auspices of Doubleday Co., one 
of the largest publishers, in a book which will certainly once more 
bring this message. 

But, you see, Senator Hennings, who should follow up on this is now 
the question. What do Government agencies, w^hat do private organi- 
zations, Avhat do citizen organizations do who work in the field of social 
action ? That is a question. 

But we once more have stated, and I want to gladly submit that 
Miss Frank has so stated in this book which appears today as 

Senator Hennings. What is the title of Miss Frank's book? 

Mr. Dybwad. "Our Children's Reading Today." Doubleday & Co. 
And this is not a commercial, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. When will that be on the market? 

Mr. Dybwad. Today. As of today it may be purchased. 

The Chairman. Mr. Dybwad, in this testimony of yours which has 
been somewhat extended now, I gather that your main point was to 
draw a distinction between this type lying on the table before you 
there» that type of comic and the crime comic. 

Mr. Dybwad. That is right. 

The Chairman. That is where you make your sharp distinction? 

Mr. Dybwad. And there is a hard distinction to make, sir, because 
for instance, yesterday — and I had the privilege of listening to the 
proceedings over the radio — reference was made to a particular num- 
ber of people getting killed in any one story ; that kind of thing, of 
course, would easily happen in any kind of murder mystery or crime 

Now, I still say that in this age of detective reading, in this age 
when the greatest of intellectual leaders in this country freely admit 
that for relaxation they read detective stories, there has to be a very 


difficult job done and that is, where are the limits of the legitimate 
matter, Mr. District Attorney, this is your FBI, Gang Buster shows, 
and this. 

Now, I hope you won't send me home with the task of submitting 
definite criteria."^ Still, I would again emphasize, sir, not defensively, 
but feeling perfectly relaxed, that we have done a great deal in this 
field, that that was one of the very approaches which we started out 
with in our first study, to skip criteria because you could not say 
crime comics are bad, but we tried to set up what kind of crime 
comics are bad, wdiat kind of fantastic adventures are bad, what 
kind of war stories are bad. 

So we tried to set up these criteria, but believe me, sir, that is a pretty 
hard task. 

I have, at times, after a particularly hard week, listened Friday 
nights to some of these FBI and mystery stories which seem to gather 
at that particular evening, and I have had my doubts at times. 

Some of it seemed to be very good, and others a little bit more 

But certainly a clear line cannot be drawn. But I would say that I 
fully agree with you that our viewpoint is that there is a new medium 
about, not just radio, not just TV, but comics. 

Children today read comics, read them in tremendous numbers, mil- 
lions of them who never get in trouble. 

We also have in this very same medium some exceedingly poor, 
distasteful and I say, dangerous stuff. When I say dangerous, I 
merely rephrase what I have said before. I will come out quite 
bluntly here that you may say we hedged on one thing. If you feel 
that we should have recommended censorship, police censorship of 
these, indeed we did not do so purposely because we do not think this 
is a good American method in the first place, and we feel in the second 
place, with that kind of publisher censorship will never work because 
the fly-by-night man escapes censorship and the good publisher is 
hit by it. 

But we have felt that community action should be forthcoming, 
civic action, action through the trade associations, and so on. 

We still feel so today. We still hope that out of tliis committee's 
work some new avenues of approach will come which will put a definite 
stop to the publication and availability of these comics. 

I will say further that that will be a distinct contribution, not just 
in general to children's welfare, but I would say more specifically 
that this would be a contribution to the broad approach to delinquency 

That, I am certainly ready to say. 

The Chairman. Mr. DybAvad, the Chair wishes to thank you. You 
will produce for the record, will you not, the list of your board of 
directors, the list of your membership, and the list of your 

Mr. Dtbwad. That I certainly will. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. 

The next witness ? 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. William Friedman. 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you 
will give before this subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary 


of the United Stcates Senate, will be the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth, so help you God ? 
Mr. Friedman. I do. 


Mr. Beaser. Mr. Friedman, will you state for the record your full 
name, address, and your profession ? 

Mr. Friedman. My name is William Friedman. I reside at 250 
East 90th Street, in New York City. I am a lawyer by profession 
and, incidentally, interested in some comic magazines. 

Mr. Beaser. "Which comic magazines are you interested in? Are 
those the three, or do you publish others? 

.Mr. Friedman. Referring to the magazines which are on the board, 
I am interested in the company which controls Mysterious Adventures 
and Fight Against Crime. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you anything to do with Beware? 

Mr. Friedman. No, I have nothing to do wnth the magazine Beware. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you anything to do with the magazine Dark 
Mysteries ? 

Mr. Friedman. Yes, but the magazine Dark Mysteries, I assist in 
the editing of the magazine. 

Mr. Beaser. That is put out by 

IMr. Friedman. It is put out by a corporation known as Mastei* 
Comics — that particular magazine is issued by a company known as 
Master Comics. I don't remember if I ever had any interest in Master 
Comics. At least I have no interest now. 

Mr. Beaser. You have no interest now ? 

Mr. Friedman. That is right, sir, except as assisting in the edit- 
ing of that magazine. 

Mr. Beaser. That is right. 

Mr. Friedman. I am not the editor of this magazine. It is edited 
by people which we retain, but that is not the import^mt point. 

]\Ir. Beaser. You are the publisher of this magazine ? 

ISIr. Friedman. I am associated with the publisher and one of the 
people interested in the company as an officer of the company. 

Mr. Beaser. Are you responsible for getting the magazine out ? 

Mr. Friedman. I accept responsibility in the sense that our cor- 
poration owns that. I don't think that there is anything wrong with 
the type of material which is presented on this board. 

Now, this material is undoubtedly taken from a story with which 
at this moment I am not familiar. It is undoubtedly taken out of 
context in the story. 

Mr. Beaser. This is the one, Mr. Friedman 

Mr. Friedman. May I finish? 

Mv. Beaser. Go ahead. 

IVIr. Friedman. This magazine is a magazine devoted to detective 
•stories, crime stories, and as such these pictures and the pictures in 
those books show stories of crime and of detection. 

Crime itself is not pretty. Detective work, police work, of itself 
is not delicate. 

I heard testimony here yesterday concerning the fact that crime 
should not be shown in a revolting manner. Well, I disagree with 


that ansAver because I believe the more undesirable crime is shown, 
the more ugly crime is shown, the less attractive it is. 

Yovi can't show stories of detective work, you can't show stories 
of crime in a pretty state, or in a delicate state, because then I believe 
that it would be attractive. It would perhaps invite a susceptible 

yiv. Beaser. But must you show. Mr. Friedman, the knife coming 
out of a back of a blood}' body, or a child drowning his stepmother 
in quicksand? 

Mr. Friedman. Frankly, I am not familiar with that particular 
context, but that is the scene of the crime ; you either hide the crime 
from public view or you show the scene of the crime. If you have 
crime stories — and I honestly do not know, and I say that because 
this investigative body, this lionorable subcommittee of the Senate, is 
trying to arrive now at facts that perhaps I am also trying to arrive 
at because of what I have heard — have these crime stories any impact 
on juvenile delinquency? 

The Chairman. That is the issue. 

Mr. Friedman. That is the issue. 

From what I have heard, because there is a question, I would also 
like to have that question answered. 

But from the evidence that I have heard before this committee, 
from the very vociferous witnesses who appeared yesterday, the 
publisher of a book, from the evidence that I heard yesterday, he 
had 3,000 cases before him in a period of perhaps 5 to 6 years, and 
if I remember his evidence correctly, he could not point to a single 
instance in which he said that the particular juvenile was caused to 
become a delinquent because he read any particular kind of comic 

Mr. Beaser. Were you here all day yesterday, Mr. Friedman I 

Mr. Friedman. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Let me add one thing to your statement. As I recall 
Dr. Wertham's testimony, it related to the fact he could not find 
one single case that he could point to as having been caused by a 
crime comic, but he was testifying to the effect that it had a positive 
effect. But in the morning sir, we had Dr. Peck, of the Children's 
Court, here, who did testify that on an emotionally disturbed child 
these crime and horror comics would have an effect. 

Mr. Friedman. Counselor, I think you will agree with me that every 
conceivable action taken — the time of da5% the weather — has some 
sort of reaction, some sort of an impression on an emotionally dis- 
turbed child, and also on a normal child. 

I also read the testimony, I believe, of your ]Mr. Clendenen. I 
am sorry I was not here to hear his testimony. He also asserted 
he could not find any particular juvenile that was led to delinquency 
by the comic books that he came in contact with. 

I also heard the testimony, if I may, of the gentleman who was 
here this morning, and that gentleman in a period of his associations, 
3'ears in contact with the comic books, and his study of thousands and 
thousands of children, in his association with Warwick, has never 
come in contact with one individual 

Mr. Beaser. Are you not engaging in semantics, Mr. Friedman? 

Mr. Friedman. I am not. I am trying to be honest in your answers. 


Mr. Beaser. Are you not trying to say you can't point to a comic 
book which is a direct cause of a crime rather than talking about 
whether crime and horror comic books may be a contributing factor 
in the total scene, in the total action of a child ? 

jNIr. Friedman. I did try to say before, and I am not a psychiatrist, 
that from what I have heard it appears to me that everything is a 
contributing factor to a child who is delinquent, whether it is a rainy 
day, whether he has 5 cents in his pocket, or has not got 5 cents in 
his pocket, but I would like to come back to what I was mentioning 
before — this other witness who was here this morning also indicated 
there was no single incident. 

Now, it seems to me, gentlemen, and I am honestly trying to find a 
conclusion, if these comics are, as a matter of fact, harmful, if they 
cause delinquency, I would be the first one to discontinue them. 

What are the facts that have been portrayed before me and before 
this committee that I can put my finger on to say that they do cause 
juvenile delinquency ? 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Friedman, rather than review the testimony we 
have had, could I get back to the question of the manner in which you 
supervise the editorial production of this magazine ? In other words, 
you are the one who tells the story writer the kind of story you want, 
or does that work vice versa, and what limits do you put upon what 
can appear in your magazine ? 

]Mr. Friedman. The editor of this magazine had been engaged in 
comic book magazine editing business for many years. 

Mr. Beaser. Who is that ? 

Mr. Friedman. That is Miss Ray. I trust her in the production of 
the magazine. 

I will say from what I have heard in the testimony given yesterday 
while I was here, and today, that since there is a question that has 
arisen as to the impact or nonimpact of certain types of stories of 
detection or police work and crime and of phantasy and horror, I will 
say after hearing the testimony and hearing the good Senators say 
that they believe that a certain code might answer the problem, I will 
ask my editor to follow that code, not because I believe in censorship, 
but until 

Mr. Beaser. Is it not true, Mr. Friedman, most of your material 
could not be published if you adhere to the code ? You could not show 
pictures of a knife coming out of the back of a man, not under the 

Mr. Friedman. I frankly do not know whether the code says that — 
I believe the code does say something about not showing the actual acts 
of commission of crime. 

Mr. Beaser. That is right, sir. 

Mr. Friedman. As I said, since there is a question that does arise, I 
will instruct my editor to attempt to adhere to the code, about Avhich 
you spoke yesterday, a copy of which I haven't, and if you attempted 
to break it down I could not tell you what is in there and what is not in 
there, but if that is a more acceptable procedure, we will try to adhere 
to it. 

]N[r. Beaser. The only question I want to know is in the present 
preparation have you any general instructions which you give to your 
editor, Miss Ray, as to what should appear in this crime, horror, and 
terror magrazine? 


Mr. Friedmax. Up to this time we have not given her any particuLar 

Mr. Beaser. Have you had occasion to change any of the pictures or 
stories she has come back with to make them less crime, horror, and 
terror ? 

Mr. Friedman. We may have changed the pictures. I do not re- 
.member at this time whether we changed them for the purpose you 
state or for any other purpose. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you recall whether you may have changed them to 
make them more horror, crime, and terror ? 

Mr. Friedman. I will say to you that we interfere so little in the 
work of our artists and script writers and editors that the changing 
that I might do is infinitesimal. The couple of books in which I am 
interested, perhaps I approach them from a legalistic attitude, mean- 
ing by that that I have done a great deal of work in the field of cen- 
sorship. I have read the books written by Morris L. Ernst. I have 
read the book written by Mr. Hayes; I have read the book written 
by the professor at Harvard who did the basic work on the question 
of censorship. 

I was interested in the famous Winters case which our Supreme 
Court had before them 3 or 4 times. 

Mr. Beaser. None of them ever described crime, terror, and horror 
vComic books? 

Mr. Friedman. The Winters case was a crime-and-horror book. 

Mr. Beaser. Comic book ? 

Mr. Friedman. I don't know how you can differentiate. Counsel, 
'between the production or the envisionment of detection and crime 
work in a comic book as against another mass media. 

One of your witnesses here yesterday — well, I won't go into that, 
but it so happened I happened to look at the same newspaper he looked 
at and I looked at last night's Telegram. I have last night's Tele- 
gram with me and by actual count there are 25 to 30 stories dealing 
"with crime. 

Mr. Beaser. That is the statement made by Mr. Gaines ? 

Mr. Friedman. It is not, counsel, because that is an entirely dif- 
ferent newspaper. 

Mr. Beaser. The same type. 

Mr. Friedman. The point I am making is that we attempt to make 
perhaps, rightfuly or wrongfully, I don't know, but attempting to 
make a whipping boy out of one particular field of mass — not the 
Senators here, because they have asserted the}" were trying to find 
what the honest fact is 

Mr. Beaser. Let me ask you a question 

Mr. Friedman. Let me finish, counselor. That a whipping boy is 
'being made out of one particular facet of the means of information 
devoted to crime and horror and detection woi"k as such. 

But there are perhaps as many titles of so-called crime pulp maga- 
zines, as many titles also as so-called true crime detective magazines 
and they have been in existence for more than I can remember, for 
longer than I can remember. There are the movie depictions, there 
are the television depictions, and to make a particular whipping boy 
out of one facet of it and say that if these were removed from sight 
the others would have no impact or would not have the same impact, 


I am not lionestly pre]5ared to state, but I don't believe that we can 
make sncli a distinction. 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Chairman, I thouo-ht I understood Mr. 
Friedman to say that he did not conceive this committee to have made 
a predetermination of this. 

INIr. Friedman. That is right. 

Senator Hennings. I just wanted to emphasize that again and make 
that abundantly clear. We are trying to find out. 

I think this whole business is enormously complex. You being a 
lawyer will know what I mean when I talk about proximate cause, 
not as an expert or a psychiatrist, but as one who has been a district 
attorney, I have spent a great many years in criminal courts on 
felony cases and matters of that kind. 

I wonder to what extent this sort of thing, whether simply synony- 
mous on a newsstand by a youngster or an older man or woman who> 
may be upon the brink or verge of doing something or other of law 
violation, whether this may not be just enough, seeing something 
lurid, seeing something suggestive. 

So seeing something which has implications, I Avonder if in some 
cases, this or a television show or moving picture or any of the media, 
might not be that straw that may lead to violation. 

Mr. Friedman. Mr. Senator, I honestly am not qualified to state. I 
would conclude with those observations if I may, that it is surprising 
to me that in attempting to seek a conclusionary fact, some say — our 
author of yesterday in his address in which he confounded all comic 
books and in which he took Superman who has been a hero to our boys 
and took that famous story Tarzan, and took that very interesting 
publication — that is not a sexy publication, Wonderman — and takes 
Howdy Doody and lumps them all together and says they are all 

Why? With this tremendous so-called accumulation. Senator, of 
perhaps not 40 million a month, 20 million a month, there has not 
been one incident to which these people who are interested in the 
subject can point and say this is a juvenile delinquent, caused by X 
medium in the comic book or television field. 

I think it makes your work so exceedingly difficult. And makes 
our rehashing just as difficult. 

Mr. Beaser. You realize, Mr. Friedman, of course, that the experts 
are also unable to point to a particular child and say that he is a 
juvenile delinquent just because of sadism or just because of this. The 
single causative factor is not what the experts are saying. 

Mr. Friedman. As a good lawyer you would have to come to the 
conclusion that you have no facts before you upon which you can 
make a reaction or a conclusion that the cause or the assisting cause to 
juvenile delinquency is the medium you might be attacking at the 
moment. Your very witnesses before you all came to the conclusion 
that came to me. First, that there was no appreciable reaction on 
juvenile delinquency as far as they knevr, including the author. They 
came to the second conclusion that tJiere might be some reaction, there 
might be some impact, but they didn't know. 

Mr. Beaser. Let me clarify one thing before you go. You men- 
tioned, and Mr. Gaines yesterday seized upon the fact that in many 
newspapers there are stories of so many holdups, so many robberies. 


In any of those were the actual pictures of dead bodies shown with 
knives coming out of the body ? 

Mr. Friedman. Counselor, let me put it this way as far as the news- 
papers are concerned. We liave the finest newspapers in the world. 
They enjoy freedom of the press as they should. 

In our democratic countries they are uncensorecl, as they should be. 
1 would- say to you, Counselor, that if and when these newspapers are 
able to get the scene of an actual crime, a Valentine massacre, a drown- 
ing, come upon a dead body, that is the newspaper photographers 

You know that as well as I. Is it right or wrong. Counselor, I don't 

Mr. Beaser. I was trying to get the total impact, ]\Ir. Friedman, 
from the total number you gave. That is all. 

The Chairman. Does the Senator from Missouri have any ques- 
tions ? 

Senatoi' Hennings. No. 

The Chairman. The Chair wishes to thank you for your appear- 
ance this morning. The subcommittee understands it is a problem. 
We do not know the answer to it. But it is a very difficult problem. 

Mr. Friedman. Thank you. Senator. 

Mr. Beaser. Dr. Loretta Bender. 

The Chairman. Dr. Bender, will you be sworn, please. 

Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you will give to this sub- 
committee of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States 
Senate, will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God ? 

Dr. Bender. I do. 


The Chairman. Doctor, will you state your full name, address, and 
association, for the record, please ? 

Dr. Bender. My full name is Dr. Lauretta Bender. I am an M. D. 
My New York City residential address is 140 West 16th Street. I 
have quite a number of associations. 

The major ones are that I am a senior psychiatrist on the psychiatric 
division of Bellevue Hospital, a civil-service position in New York 
City, a position I have had since 1930, and since 1934 I have been in 
charge of the children's ward. 

I am also a professor of clinical psychiatry in New York University 
Medical School. 

I am also on the training program of the Veterans' Administration, 
which is associated with the New York University Medical School. 

I am on the editorial board of the National Comic Companies as an 
adviser, on the advisory editorial board. 

This spring I accepted an appointment as consultant in child psy- 
chiatry in the New Jersey Neuropsychiatric Institute. 

I think that covers the major ones. 

The Chairman. Thank you. 

Counsel, you may proceed to examine the doctor. 


Mr, Beaser. Doctor, we are inquiring here into the possible effects 
of crime and horror comics on children, both normal and some who 
are emotionally disturbed. 

Could you give us your opinion of the iDossible effects of this kind of 
reading material, crime and horror comics books, on say, the emotion- 
ally disturbed children, or normal child ? 

Dr. Bender. In the field of the emotionally disturbed child, I have 
long been considered a professional expert. I consider myself such. 
My experience you have to realize is with children under the age of 

However, it is true that I have been working 20 years with these 
children. Many of them have now reached adolescence and adult- 

In my early years in working at Bellevue Hospital when we were 
hard put to find techniques for exploring the child's emotional life, 
his mind, his ways of reacting, when the child was separated from the 
home and brought to us in tlie wards at Bellevue, I found the comics 
early one of the most valuable means of carrying on such examina- 
tions, and that was the beginning of my interest in the comic books. 

So that my first scientific paper on the comics appeared — I believe I 
gave it in 1940 before the National American Neuropsychiatric As- 
sociation and it was published in 1941, before I had any connection 
Avhatever with the comic people. 

Now, when you ask me as broad a question as to what is the pos- 
sible effect of such horror comic books- — ^and the gesture makes it also 
broader — upon the emotionally disturbed and the normal cliilcl, it is 
almost overwhelmingly a broad statement. 

Ilowever, I have spent a great deal of time ; I have written many 
articles. I too, have a book in press which has at least a chapter on 
this subject, otherwise deals with it, and in general it is my opinion that 
the comics, as I have known them and worked with them through 
these years and the kind of emotionally diturbed children that I liaA^e 
known and worked with, and my own three normal children show a 
I'emarkable capacity to select from the comics material they need and 
can use, a capacity which should not be underrated and it is one of the 
s]iecific characteristics of the comics that this kind of a selection can 
be used on the comics where it cannot be used, for example, in a movie. 
It can be used in television and it can be used in radio, by the television 
so they can turn it off. 

Mr. Beaser. What do you mean by selection. Selections of comics 
themselves, or selections out of the comics? 

Dr. Bender. Both. Children love to collect comics. I will also 
say that the less intelligent children and those ayIio have the less 
reading capacity collect the most comics. It is the story that we 
used to tell in school that if we could sleep on that enormous tome 
conceivably we could get something out of it and pass our exams the 
next day. 

In fact, I have frequently said I can make a diagnosis on a non- 
reading child who is brought into my presence for the first time with 
comic books stored away in his blouse — boys don't like the word 
"blouse," excuse me, shirt — like the squirrel has nuts stored away in 
their cheeks — now, as to these, Mr. Clendenen brought them in to me 
the other day. I told him I hadn't seen any of these. 


Tlie children don't bring- them on the ward at Bellevue. My chil- 
dren don't brin^ them at home. 

And when I tried to look through some of them I thought they were 
unspeakably silly. The more an artist tries to show horror and the 
more details he puts into the picture, wdiich most poor artists do, the 
sillier the thing becomes, and the children laugh at it. 

The children also will frequently tell me — for instance, on television, 
I have to listen to it with my own children occasionally and I am 
aghast, "My God, how can you stand such things, children?" 

They say, "Mom, don't you know it is only television, it is not 

In my opinion it is the same thing about these comics. 

Mr. Beaser. a child would not identify himself or herself with any 
one of the figures in there? For example, we had a picture yesterday 
and a story about a child who murdered her foster mother. 

Dr. Bender. Mr. Clendenen told me that stor3\ 

Mr. Beaser. In the final shot they showed the child getting away 
with the three murders. Do you think that a child would' identify 
himself or herself with the little girl? 

Dr. Bender. No. 

Mr. Beaser. Would the child identify 

Dr. Bender. The child would only identify itself with such a child 
who had committed these 3 murders if there had been 3 murders in the 
child's family, for which people were looking suspiciously at this 

In that case the child with horror would throw the comics out of the 

Mr. Beaser. Would the child identify its mother — or its father, 
with the mother and father in the story comic? 

Dr. Bender. Not unless their mother and father were like that 
mother and father. 

Mr. Beaser. Since delinquency does appear in broken homes as well 
as others, assuming this is a broken home and they depicted a broken 
home, woidd the child identify his own mother and father with the 
pictures in the comic book? 

Dr. Bender. If he would so identify himself, then it would be his 
tendency again to discard the comic book or go into a panic. I have 
seen children in panics, as I say, not over comics usually because they 
are easily rejected, but over movies. I have seen children brought to 
me in terrible panics, and interestingly enough most often the Walt 
Disney movies which do depict very disturbing mother figures. 

The mothers are always killed or sent to the insane asylums in Walt 
Disney's movies. They are among my experience, except for Franken- 
stein, the worst movies in the world for children avIio have had a prob- 
lem of the loss of a parent. 

I can speak of that with feeling because I have 3 children who lost 
their father when they wei-e babies and I know the problem of expos- 
ing children to such problems as this. 

It can throw them into the kind of anxiety which is distressing, but 
the children will leave if they can or they will not read the comics, 
they will reject it. 

Mr. Beaser. We had another one of a child in a foster home whose 
foster parents turned out to be werewolves and he turned out to be a 


werewolf. What effect would that have on a child who is awaiting 
foster placement, or who has been in foster placement ? 

Dr. Bender. Mr. Clendenen has told me about that, too, and, after 
all, he is a social worker who has dealt with the placement of foster 
children. I wondered, after all, at the kind of imagination, if I 
can apologize in advance, that would conceive of anyone giving such a 
comic to such a child under such circumstances. 

The chance of its happening, of course, is infinitesimally small, and 
I think the child would only read it provided it was held down and the 
thing was read to it forcibly. 

EVen then, I think if he was anywhere near a wholesome child he 
would laugh at the situation and probably after looking at the foster 
mother when he got in the place and finding she did not look like a 
werewolf, he mi^it say, "Well, you are not even a werewolf after 
all,'' or something like that. 

Mr. Beaser. But the child awaiting foster placement has a number 
of normal fears ? 

Dr. Bender. Certainly. 

Mr. Beaser. So that is fair game, practically, for such a child? 

Dr. Bender. That is true. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, what about the effect of the crime and horror 
comics on a hostile child. Could he possibly find suggestions and 
also support for doing some of these things ? 

In other words, he sees it there and he is going to do it. 

The Chairman. Did counsel use the word "hostile" ? 

Mr. Beaser. Hostile. 

Dr. Bender. You asked me could he ? 

Of course, he could, but I do not know of a single instance in which 
it has occurred. I would also say this, that a hostile child who is 
committing such crimes, even if he was one of those collecting crime 
books, collecting comic books of all types and carrying them around 
with him, does not usually take time out to go into the library or to 
find a reading place to sit down and study these books. 

It is conceivable, and I am sure if enough research work is done, 
sooner or later someone or other can find an incident in which a child 
can be got to say that he got the idea from such and such a comic 

I would not doubt but that maybe 10 cases could be found in the 
United States. 

But if you then said to the child, "Did you ever see such a thing on 
television or movies?" or "Did you ever hear about it anywhere else, 
too?'' — well, the situation obviously becomes less specific. 

Mr. Beaser. We have heard this, and I do not know at this point 
from what source: Would you consider that excessive reading of 
crime and horror comics is symptomatic of emotional maladjustment ? 
Does that indicate something might be wrong ? 

Dr. Bender. Yes ; I would say that. 

Mr. Beaser. If you came on a child who is devouring this stuff 
day and night ? 

Dr. Bender. Well, let me be even a bit — ^maybe I should not be as 
personal as this. As I say, I had 3 children whose father was vio- 
lently killed when the youngest one was a week old, in an automobile 
accident, not in a gang war, and those 3 children have that problem. 
How can such things happen ? 


Most children don't have such problems. Mothers can do the best 
they can to try to reassure such children. 

The oldest boy cannot tolerate anything in the way of a story, even 
Peter Rabbit, who, if you recall your Peter Rabbit, went into a garden 
where his father got into an accident at the hands of a hoe of a farmer 
and had been put in a rabbit pie. 

I had to take him screaming out of the puppet show on that picture. 

He would leave the room if Jack and the Beanstalk was being read 
to the other children. He would turn off the radio and he would 
reject any book or any comic that had any of these problems. 

My second son, who was a little older and a different type of child, 
instead of rejecting it has tried to solve the problem, and he is not 
so much addicted to crime comics, he is not addicted to crime comics 
at all, as far as that is concerned, but he loves to watch for hours on 
end television, radio, and movies which deal with these same subjects. 

I think for him it is an effort to find a solution of the mystery 
of life and death and how it can happen that a child's father can leave 
him even before the child knows the father. 

For my daughter, who was a baby, last year in school she spent the 
time writing for her teacher crime stories, murder stories, in which 
the bloody head of the person who had been attacked would lie on the 
lap of the beloved person, whoever it was, and an effort would be made 
to soothe it. 

This worried her teacher very much and she came to me with this 
problem. She said, "Is she reading too many crime comics?" 

I said, "As far as I know she doesn't read them at all." 

Not that I refuse them to her. She doesn't listen to television like 
the second child does, and she doesn't go to the movies very often. 

But I said, "It is her way of solving her problem." 

Now, she has gotten that problem solved apparently. She has gone 
through this, and for her it is her solution. 

Now, I can well imagine children, and I know plenty of disturbed 
children from homes where they have less support than my children 
do, because, after all, my children have not only had the support of 
myself, but of our very many friends, who on occasions of these various 
things, and, after all, there are lots of children in the world wliose 
fathers have been killed by gangsters or who don't know who their 
fathers are, and who live in a gangster's world and whose fathers are 
gangsters killing other people — I don't know that crime is quite as 
bad in the world as we try to make it out to be, and these children 
I am sure will be disturbed by such things. 

If they have to be exposed to them, or are exposed to them, they 
should have a wise adult who can discuss the matters with them and 
talk it over with them. 

Mr. Beaser. Many of them do not. 

Dr. Bender. Many of them do not. 

Mr. Beaser. You are on the editorial advisory board of the Super- 
man Comics ? 

Dr. Bender. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. I gather you were in the courtroom today and heard 
the discussion? 

Dr. Bender. I was. 

49632—54 11 


By the way, I am not in anyway connected with the Child Study 
Association. That was implied and it was a mistake. It is merely 
that Josette Frank interviewed me for one of her articles. 

Mr. Beaser. You were one of the resource persons ? 

Dr. Bender. I was one of the resource persons from which she got 
expert testimony, let us say, and wrote the article. 

It is true now, I am an editorial adviser of the Child Study Asso- 
ciation. That is another one of my jobs that I do not even get a dollar 
a year for. 

Mr. Beaser. What I cannot understand is that with all the listings 
of the associations you belong to you must be pretty busy. How do 
you get time to read the comic books of the National Superman ? 

Dr. Bender. I don't read them all. 

Mr. Beaser. You read what? 

Dr. Bender. I read the ones which look to me to be of some interest. 
I give the rest to the children at Bellevue and let them read them and 
tell me what they think about them. I give them to the teachers, 
psychiatrists. I take them home to my children. 

And if there is any question about one, and frequently there is — 
for instance, about 2 years ago one of the psychiatrists wrote me in 
dismay saying that he had picked up a comic his daughter brought 
in in which a psychiatrist had been abused in his opinion and found 
my name on the advisory board and wondered how I could justify 
such a thing. 

In this particular comic the storywriter had thought up a new form 
of what might be called shock treatment, in which a wife, who was 
jealous of her husband, had been exposed by the husband, at the advice 
of his psychiatrist, to actual situations which could be interpreted as 
indicating that the husband was wanting to do her harm. 

But then it ended up with the husband explaining everything and 
the psychiatrist coming in and explaining everything and the wife 
and the husband reunited in their mutual understanding and love^ 
and the psychiatrist going home. He lived next door. 

The husband played chess with him, or something. 

Well, this didn't look very bad to me. I said I was not even sure 
it was not a good idea, it has some good ideas in it. Maybe if we acru- 
ally did try to portray some of the delusions of patients and showed 
we could explain, that might be a way of exposing disillusionary ideas. 

I showed them to the children in the ward because they do have dis- 
illusonary ideas. The children in the ward thought that was a good 
story and they thought it was a good idea, it was like the kind of 
treatment we were giving them, which I had not thought of in that 

They certainly thought it was a good way to cure the sick woman. 
Mr. Beaser. But you saw this after the comic book had been on the 
stands ? 

Dr. Bender. That is right. I am not responsible in any way what- 
soever with what is published. 

Mr. Beaser. And your duties as a member of the editorial advisory 
board consist of what ? 

Dr. Bender. My duties on the editorial advisory board are to be 
consulted by them whenever they choose to consult me and to give them 
advice about matters which many think are problems in just the terms 


that you are trying to deal with today, and in the beginning when I 
worked with them, I also helped them work out their hrst code. 

Whenever they have asked for my advice I have always made an 
immediate study as carefully as I can, have given my advice and, to 
my knowledge, it has always been followed. 

Mr. Beaser. How often does the board meet ? 

Dr. Bender. It meets very irregularly and in the last 6 months 
I think we have not met. As a matter of fact, we don't function as a 
board usually. Now and then we do. We have, sometimes in the past, 
been called together, as a board, to take up certain questions. 

The Chairman. Are the members polled ? 

For example, you have a problem come before you, submitted to you. 
Do they poll all the members on that problem? 

Dr. Bender. I gather they do, because Mr. Dybwad, just ahead of 
me, told you about a letter which the Child Study Association got and 
the advice that they had given in regard to this copyrighted article 
from one of the comics, and I am sure it is the same letter I got and I 
gave the same advice and I thought they were following my advice, 
but, obviously, they were following all our advices. 

The Chairman. Are the board members compensated? 

Dr. Bender. Yes. I received $150 a month. 

Mr. Beaser. I suppose each one of the members received the same 
compensation ? 

Dr. Bender. No. I understand some of them get more because they, 
are expected to give more service than I do. It is understood I am a 
very busy person. It is understood that the amount of time that I 
can give to it should be minimal, but in terms of my professional 

So I understand that some get more. 

I understand, on the other hand, some get less because they have come 
in more recently than I have. As a matter of fact, when I went on 
this advisory board, it was when the Superman and National Comics 
were separated into two parts, and Mr. Gaines, Sr., the father of the 
gentleman who testified yesterday, had his series of comics including 
Wonder Woman, and the Biblical ones and historical ones and what 
not. He paid me $50 and the Superman series paid me $100. 

Later on, the group was united, so I have been paid $150 by the one 

The Chairman. Doctor, could you give the subcommittee a typical 
case of the sort of problem which comes to the board members? 

Dr. Bender. Yes ; very easily. As a matter of fact, I don't see any 
reason for not being more specific about this last inquiry. 

This was a question that there were concerns who wanted to produce 
a Superman uniform for children, realistic, and copyrighted. The 
National Publishing Co. said they had this request coming through 
for many, many years, and they had always turned it down because 
they were afraid that children would be hurt under the circumstances ; 
but again, it had come up so persistently that they now wanted my 
advice about it. 

So I advised them that in my experience children throughout the 
ages, long before Superman existed, tried to fly, and also it has been 
my specific experience, since I have been at Bellevue Hospital, that 
certain children with certain emotional problems are particularly pre- 


occupied with the problem of flying, both fascinated by it, and fearful 
of it. 

And we frequently have on our ward at Bellevue the problem of 
making Superman capes in occupational therapy and then the children 
wearing them and fighting over them and one thing or another — and 
only about 3 months ago we had such, what we call epidemic, and a 
number of children were hurt because they tried to fly off the top of 
radiators or off the top of bookcases or what not and got bumps. 

The Chairman. You mean they would put these suits on and try 
to fly? 

Dr. Bender. That is right. 

The sheets form many purposes to these children. Part of it is that 
it probably gives them the feeling of the power to fly. 

It also gives them the feeling of protection, almost as if they were 
invisible when they wore the Superman cape or as if they had the magic 
power of Superman, so if they wore a Superman's cape they would 
have these magic powers. 

The Chairman. This does show the influence of comics, then? 

Dr. Bender. That is true. I am sure the comics influence. 

As I say, I have found one of the best methods in my experience to 
examine children is to get them to tell me their favorite comic book 
and to relate it and then analyze their material. 

In adult psychiatry, dreams are analyzed. 

The Chairman. If Superman could have that influence, what sort of 
influence do you think that picture there, called "Crime Suspen- 
Stories," would have ? 

Dr. Bender. I can tell you why. This would have nowhere near. 
Superman represents an instinctive problem that we are all born and 
grown up with, that we can fly — after all, we can fly now ; we couldn't 
before — and that we can carry on all kinds of scientific investigations, 
that we can stop crime, which Superman does, and that we can have a 
good influence on the world, and that we can be protected by the pow- 
erful influences in the world which may be our own parents, or may be 
the authorities, or what not. 

Mr. Beaser. It is your considered judgment, then, that Superman 
has been a good influence? 

Dr. Bender. A good influence. 

There is another reason why Superman has had good influence. 
That is the years of continuity of the Superman character. The chil- 
dren know that Superman will always come out on the right side. 

On that, I can give you another story about what they wanted to do. 
At the end of the Second World War we had the problem of a certain 
number of soldiers coming home as amputees. 

One of the script writers got the bright idea that we ought to pre- 
pare children for their fathers coming home as amputees by having 
one of the characters — I don't think it was Superman — one of the 
others — have an accident and lose his leg. They wanted to know what 
I thought about that idea. I said I thought it was absolutely terrible 
because I felt that the children loved this character and, after all, how 
many children were going to have to face the question of an amputee 
father ? 

Certainly there are far better ways of preparing such children for 
such a father than to have to shock the whole comic reading children 


So I disapproved of it. 

The Chairman. Doctor, suppose you were on the advisory board for 
some of these magazines, what would you recommend? 

I am talking about the magazines which appear on the board there. 

Dr. Bender. Let us put it this way : Suppose you said, "Why don't 
you go on one of these and see," and then I would go on it and 1 would 
see. I would expose children to these comics and see what the result 

Now, if you want to ask me what I think the result would be, I think 
it would be minimal. I think that many of the children would be bored 
with them, I think that many of the children would refuse to read them 
and the more sophisticated would say, "So what, I have seen stuff like 
that before." 

Mr. Beaser. But you do not actually know. Doctor ? 

The Chairman. You are talking about normal children, though ? 

Dr. Bender. There is no such thing as a normal child. 

The Chairman. There is not? 

Dr. Bender. No. 

The Chairman. That is your medical opinion ? 

Dr. Bender. That is my medical opinion. 

The Chairman. How about a chilcl that is deficient ? 

Dr. Bender. Mentally deficient? 

The Chairman. I mean delinquent, or has delinquent tendencies. 

Dr. Bender, As I told you before, it certainly is conceivable that 
you can find a certain number of children who will be, or could be 
pushed 1 or 2 steps further. 

The Chairman. By this sort of literature ? 

Dr. Bender. By this sort of literature. Of course, it is a drop in 
the bucket as far as all the experiences in the world that the children 
are exposed to, and an awfully small drop and an awfully big bucket. 

Mr. Beaser. Doctor, when Mr. Dybwad was talking he said some- 
thing about dividing the subject into two phases. One, the fact that 
the association was concerned about was the fact that these crime and 
horror comics were creating a climate in which the child was living 
and growing up and to which the child was exposed. 

Do you share Mr. Dybwad's- fears in that respect ? 

Dr. Bender. I don't think the comic books are creating the climate. 

Mr. Beaser. Are they a part of the climate ? 

Dr. Bender. I think they are a reaction to the climate. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, let me ask you one final question. Doctor. 

Would you say — I suppose you would — that your opinion on this 
subject is in no way influenced by the fact that you are an advisory 
member of the Superman comics advisory board ? 

Dr. Bender. Well, it is a fair question and I think you were a little 
bit hard on Mr. Dybwad in that regard this morning. 

Actually, the amount of money I get, $150 a month, is what I can 
get for one lecture such as I gave yesterday — I was all day yesterday 
in another State attending a scientific conference at which I gave 
a lecture — and which I can give once a week without any trouble — 
and it certainly is a small part of my income. 

I would say this : The fact that I am in this position as far as the 
national comics are concerned has two influences. 

I think I have influenced the National Comics Publications to some 
extent, and I think my continuing presence on their editorial board 


may represent a continuing influence, not only on the national comics 
but conceivably all of the comic publications, to some extent. 

I would say that I have been somewhat more interested in the comics. 
I am furnished with the comics as soon as they come out regularly. 
In fact, I am furnished with three copies of them. 

And I have in recent years especially been particularly interested 
not only in this sort of thing, but some extremely interesting new 
phenomena in the comics. 

The comics actually, if you follow the history of the comics, and I 
wish Dr. Wertham could have done this, because he is a brilliant 
scientist, if he could only realize what could be done with it, they 
have gone through phases of understanding the problems that the 
world is being shaken by continuously. 

And now, most amazingly, they have become aware of the problems 
which most concern us psychiatrists, and me particularly, and that is 
something which is a technical phase, the concept of the body image 
and what can happen to it under different emotional circumstances. 

These are psychological problems and tlie uncanny capacity for the 
script writers to delve down into their own unconscious and dig up 
these problems and depict them to me is an amazing phenomenon. 

I only wish that I had the time from my various other duties to sit 
down and do a job — not with these, I confess they don't interest me 
much — but with the psychological phenomena that have occurred in 
the comic books and in terms of what they might mean to developing 

Now, there was one type of comic that I disapproved of very 
thorouglily. When the comics first came out. Superman, at least, the 
publishers of Parent magazine got out a little comic called 

The Chairman. It used to be Hairbreadth Harry, in my day. 

Dr. Bender. Were they good? 

The Chairman. Very good. 

Dr. Bender. The Parent magazine got out a comic called True 
Comics. They were really very bad. The reason they were bad is 
that they showed historical situations of, let us say, sailors being 
thrown off the boat because the boat had been bombarded by the 
Nazis and they were jumping in an oceaH of flaming oil. 

There was just no help for these people 

Mr. Beaser. What was bad with that ? We saw pictures like that 
yesterday in some of these. 

Dr. Bender. O. K., but they weren't put out by the Parent Maga- 
zine Publications. The parents didn't approve of that, but these 
were approved by parents. 

Mr. Beaser. You would disapprove of that? 

Dr. Bender. I disapprove of that. 

They said, "This is good because it is history. This is real," which 
is another reason why it is bad. 

They also gave a picture of colonial days where the mother was 
being tommyhawked by the Indians, with a baby at her breast, and 
the baby was being dropped on the ground. Now, this was history. 

Certa'inly it is history, but do our children today have to be exposed 
to such things ? 

This is not history. I see no excuse whatsoever for a parent mag- 
azine group or an approved group approving that sort of thing. It 


was quite contrary to the code which we eventually established for 
the comic people. 

The Chairman. Doctor, the Chair has before it a typewritten docu- 
ment entitled "Editorial policy for Superman — DC Publications." 
I will send that down to you and ask you if that is the code you helped 

Dr. Bender. I have seen this lately. No, this is not the one I 
helped prepare. The one I helped prepare is the one which was to 
this effect, that no character in the comic with whom the children 
could identify themselves, or their own parents, their own family, or 
their own country, or their own side, should be irretrievably damaged, 
killed, or mutilated, and neither should such a person with whom 
the child could identify himself or anyone on his side irretrievably 
damage or injure anyone else regardless of whether they were an 
enemy, or not. 

That is to say, they should not have to bear the guilt of feeling that 
they were responsible for this damage having happened. 

The Chairman. In what j^ear was this code prepared? 

Dr. Bender. That code was prepared in the middle forties. 

The Chairman. Have you ever seen this code ? 

Dr. Bender. I just saw that for the first time night before last. 

The Chairman. That is the code under which this publication is 
operating, is it not ? 

Dr. Bender. Yes. It involves more or less the things I say except 
they go to certain other things. 

The Chairman. They are more specific ? 

Dr. Bender. They are more specific. Some of these things I 
wouldn't be so specific about. 

The Chairman. As I understand it. Counsel, that code has been 
made part of the record ? 

Mr. Beaser. Yes, sir. 

(The code referred to was submitted earlier by Mr. Gunnar Dybwad 
and appears on p. 70 as "Exhibit No. 9.") 

The Chairman. Does counsel have any further questions? 

Mr. Beaser. Just one. 

You mentioned burning flames. Look at this picture here. It 
shows as a final scene a man being burned. You would object to that 
being distributed to children, would you not? I gathered that from 
your last remarks. 

Dr. Bender. I would say this : I think I could distribute that to the 
children. I don't know who the man is. I don't think they know who 
he is, do they ? 

Mr. Beaser. Supposing it was a magazine which depicted him as 
the father of a child, a father figure ? 

Dr. Bender. Then I would object to it. You see, I objected to this 
thing about the sailors because it was our sailors. 

Mr. Beaser. You would also object maybe to the sight of a child's 
mother and father being electrocuted ? 

Dr. Bender. Well, I object to seeing that under any circumstances, 
if you don't mind. 

Mr. Beaser. I have no further questions. 

The Chairman. Doctor, the subcommittee is very grateful to you 
for coming here this morning. We know how busy you are. I am 
glad we got several points in the record cleared up. 


The committee will now recess until 2 o'clock. 

(At 1 p. m., a recess was taken until 2 p. m., same day) . 


The Chairman. The hearing will be in order. 

Counsel, will you call the first witness for the afternoon's session ? 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Chairman, before proceeding to call the next wit- 
ness I would like to introduce in the record a letter received from the 
American Psychological Association at our request, commenting upon 
crime, horror comic books, signed by Carl H. Rush, Jr., executive 

The Chairman. Counsel has examined the communication care- 

Mr. Beaser. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. It relates directly to the problem before us ? 

Mr. Beaser. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Without objection the letter will be included and 
incorporated in the record at this point. Let that be exhibit No. 22. 

(The letter referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 22," and reads as 

Exhibit No. 22 

American Psychological Association, 

Washington, D C, April 20, 1954. 
Mr. Richard Clendenen, 

Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, 
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. 
Dear Mr. Clendenen : In response to your letter of March 23, I should like 
to address myself to the general problem under consideration by the subcom- 
mittee which you represent. I have examined the comic books you sent and, 
although my initial reaction was one of surprise and disgust, I shall attempt to 
give you my considered opinion of their potential impact upon the behavior of 
children with special reference to juvenile delinquency. At the outset I should 
point out that I have had no direct experience with research on this topic and 
have arrived at the opinions contained herein only after careful examination of 
published research on the topic and a logical analysis of th« problem. I should 
also add that my comments represent the personal opinions of an individual 
psychologist and not the consensus or official statement of the 12,000 members 
of the American Psychological Association. 

At first glance it seems utterly impossible that these so-called comic books 
could serve any useful or functional purpose. They are lurid, splashy, sensa- 
tional, and fantastic. Lessons to be learned, if any, are obscured by the noise 
and violence of action. The language is ungrammatical and crude, which, 
parenthetically, is true of a much broader class of such publications. In short, 
it is difficult to see why anyone would read such trash. Yet, there is abundant 
evidence to the contrary, people do read these books or at least we infer that 
they do from the circulation figures. There appears to be a strange sort of 
fascination about such materials ; violence or threat of violence seems to pique 
the curiosity of humans. Furthermore, it is conceivable that this is a very 
general type of phenomenon that is observed in many different situations. 
People attending wild-west rodeos, racing events, daredevil shows, carnival 
,exhibitions of freaks, and other such spectacles may be looking for a shock 
experience from which they derive a particular kind of transitory satisfaction. 
I|lt is almost as if the human organism has a need for periodic vitalization 
through the vicarious experience of a potentially traumatic, and indeed tragic 
event. But it is also possible that in all these things there are no lasting effects, 
no learning of any consequence ; these are merely self-indulgences which excite 
for the moment and then are gone. 
1^ The fantasy life of an individual is probably facilitated by exposure to 
I materials such as the horror comics. They provide a mechanism by means of 
which the person can escape from the, pressures of reality which impinge upon 


liim. But in this sense the comic books are in the same class with liquor, popular 
fiction, movies, fairy tales, newspapers, and other mass media. All of these 
things are used as escape mechanisms and it is only in the extreme that such 
practices are potentially dangerous. As for the gruesomeness and horror, we 
cannot condemn the comics in this respect without questioning the contents of 
children's stories and fairy tales of all sorts. A number of authors have pointed 
out the amount of terror and violence contained in the tales of Hans Christian 
Anderson, Grimm, or even AValt Disney. There is a difference, however, in that 
these fairy stories are clearly fables and not reality, while the stories in the 
comic books are often placed in contemporary settings with real people. As one 
author has put it, the comic books differ in presenting their story in a very 
familiar world. 

To return more directly to the issue at hand, I should like to present several 
general statements of opinion together with a brief discussion of each. A 
partial list of references is appended. 

1. Although comic books have been the subject of many published articles in 
popular journals, there has been no incisive research on the topic. A few investi- 
gators have studied the relationships between comic book reading habits of 
children and other factors such as I. Q. school achievement, delinquency, etc. 
But these studies have been limited in scope and, in general, fail to provide us 
with insight into the dynamics of the problem. Hoult (16) for example, reports 
a study of 2.35 children aged 10-17 in which it was found that "delinquents' 
and nondelinquents read about the same number of 'harmless' comic books, but 
delinquents read many more 'questionable' or 'harmful' comics." Heisler (14) 
found no significant relationship between the reading of comic books and suclx 
factors as reading ability, achievement in English, vocabulary, intelligence, per- 
sonality, or tlie size of the home library. Matter (17) analyzed the contents 
of 185 comic magazines and discovered that about one-third of all comic story 
pages is devoted to humor and an equal amount is devoted to crime. Strang 
(23) interviewed a sample of children in grades 1-12 and found no lasting 
detrimental effect of interest in comics upon reading habits. Many of the older 
adolescents felt that they had outgrown this type of material. In fact, comics 
often served as a transition stimulus to more mature i-eading. 

From this brief summary of some studies in this topic area it can be seen that 
research has been concerned with segmental aspects of the problem. The ap- 
proach is characteristically a correlational one which, of course, does not permit 
inferences as to cause and effect relationships. In part, the paucity of research 
on this topic is a function of methodological difficulties inherent in the subject 
matter. For, although the manifestations of juvenile delinquency appear sud- 
dently and spontaneously, the determining or casual factors are of long standing. 
Clearly, juvenile delinquency is a developmental problem and because of this, 
truly incisive research can only be conducted on a longitudinal basis in which the 
subjects of the investigation are examined periodically over a span of several 
years. This type of research is beyond the means of individual investigators and 
requires some sort of institutional support. 

Summing up this section, it seems apparent that research is sorely needed in 
this problem. If we are to understand the impact of the horror comics upon the 
behavior of normal and emotionally disturbed children, we must initiate a broad 
program of research and provide means for its support. It seems imperative, 
however, that this research be placed in a broad context, one in which the influ- 
ence of comic books is but one aspect of a larger program which has as its objec- 
tive the determination of the multiple causes of juvenile delinquency. 

2. In view of the many factors which influence the behavior of children, it 
seems unlikely that any single factor such as the reading of comic books could 
be the major determinant of behavior. In this connection it is sometimes helpful 
to distinguish between predisposing and precipitating factors in considering the 
causes of behavior. In other words, there are a great number of experiences and 
relationships which influence the behavior of a child ; his relations with his par- 
ents and siblings, the socioeconomic status of the family, housing conditions, 
membership in peer groups, school achievement, emotional adjustment. All of 
these forces, and many others, interact within the individual and presumably 
influence delinquent behavior. Placed alongside these influences, the comic 
books seem rather insignificant except as they might provide a trigger function 
for behavior. If all of the predisposing factors make a child "ready" for certain 
types of nonsocial actions, an idea derived from comic books may be the catalyst 
which provides impetus to the behavior. This, of course, is high speculation on 
which there is very little empirical evidence. 


The more important issue, however, is that we should consider the question of 
comic boolis within the context of the child's total experience. To concentrate 
solely upon this fragment of his experience would seem unwise both in terms 
of the meaniniifulness of the investigation and in terms of the recommended 
actions stemmins therefrom. In short, it is my opinion that there are many 
factors which influence juvenile delinquency and when compared with these other 
factors, the reading of comic books seems quite insignificant. I do not wish to 
discourage investigation on this topic but it would be my recommendation that 
such an investigation would be more fruitful if conducted as part of a much more 
extensive investigation of the basic problem. 

3. It is conceivable that comic books, regardless of their content, may serve 
some useful function in the education of this Nation's young people by pointing 
out the limits of bad taste, improper conduct, and antisocial behavior. Without 
attempting to develop a philosophy of education, I should like to point out my 
reasons for such a statement. In the education of children we are faced with 
a decision as to method which falls somewhere between two extreme ends of 
a continuura. At the one end there is a Victorian point of view which would 
advocate the protection of children from all that is evil or bad on the assumption 
that by so doing we would be teaching only good things. At the other extreme 
is an educational process which exposes the child to reality, to all the things 
among which he must at some point in his life discriminate. Obviously it is 
possible to adopt a position of moderation, an educational method which falls 
somewhere between these two extremes. 

We can draw upon the vast literature in the field of learning for evidence 
in this matter. When we teach animals or humans to discriminate colors, 
sounds, or other stimuli, we find that the subjects must first become familiar 
with the differential characteristics of the stimuli in a series. As this famil- 
iarity develops, discrimination becomes more successful when the subject recog- 
nizes a particular stimulus as different from others, and also, perhaps more 
importantly, in what ways they are different. This process might be called 
constituting the variable in the sense that each subject learns the properties 
of stimuli at certain positions along some continuum and can make discrimina- 
tions among them. Obviously the examples of color and sound are simple ones, 
but we may generalize to more complex learning situations. As an example, 
suppose we were concerned with music or art appreciation. It would seem 
desirable to give students exposure to bad paintings or music as well as excellent 
ones so that each individual can set up his own standards of "goodness" and 
"poorness." If we show them only the works of masters they may be unable 
to discriminate properly because they have not identified the properties of 
various points on the continuum. 

It is in this sense that comic books may be useful as horrible examples of 
grammar, literary taste, and conduct. If placed in the appropriate context, 
parents may be able to point out the more desirable extremes of these continua 
by contrast. This, of course, places a great deal of responsibility on parents 
and/or teachers, but if the underlying assumptions are valid, such difliculties 
should not deter us. Once again I must state that these are only opinions, 
but they do represent reasonable generalizations from the findings in experi- 
mental psychology. There is an obvious need for research to demonstrate the 
extent to which these generalizations are appropriate. 

In conclusion, I wish to express regret that I have no more tangible assistance 
to give your subcommittee. I speak for all our 12,000 members when I say 
that we share your concern with the problem of juvenile delinquency. We 
stand ready both as citizens and as professional persons to provide any further 
assistance you might require. 


Gael H. Rush, Jr., Ph. D., 

Executive Assistant. 


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Mr. Beaser. Mr. Chairman, I have a statement prepared by Joseph 
J. Fiske, education director, Cartoonics, who has asked that his state- 
ment be made part of the record. 


The Chairman. Is Mr. Fiske in the room ? I saw him this morning. 

Mr. Beaser. He has left, sir. 

The Chairman. He is satisfied to have this included without 

Mr. Beaser. Without presentation. 

The Chairman. Without objection, this statement of Mr. Fiske 
will be incorporated in the record at this point. I might say for the 
record the Chair has read the statement of Mr. Fiske and it relates 
entirely to the subject under inquiry here. 

(The statement referred to is as follows.) 

Statement Submitted by Joseph J. Fiske, Education Director, Cabtoonics, 

New York, N. Y. 

It is a pleasure to come here today and appear before a United States Senate 
subcommittee that sits in the dignity and decorum so eloquently shown during 
its hearings held here yesterday. 

The objectives of this subcommittee are being fulfilled without fanfare or 
politics — without baiting or criticism of witnesses, and except for the glare 
of TV, one would imagine himself before a United States Supreme Court tribunal. 

The seriousness displayed by the members does justice to the cause this sub- 
committee is serving so thoroughly and so intelligently — but one cannot help 
but wonder why in the most important city in the world, at a time when juvenile 
delinquency is at its peak — so few parents, teachers, civic organizations, social 
workers, and many other groups claiming interest in this subject, all seemed 
conspicuous by their absence. Less than 50 individuals occupied seats in the 
hearing room and most of those were staff members or witnesses. Apparently 
the adults are the delinquents and the juveniles less so. 

The most successful of the so-called comic books are those originating from the 
pornographic picture publishers, and it must be called that, accept that code of 
ethics which was printed by its own "code-authority" even that word is a mis- 
nomer as is also the name comic book. 

A one-time owner and publisher of a St. Louis newspaper said : "The dictionary 
probably does not contain a word more inappropriate than "comic" to describe 
such a page (or book)." 

After many years in the newspaper publishing field this expert could not rid 
himself of the confusion caused by what is known generally by "comics." His 
description of a comic page even in a newspaper, even before the forties, published 
under a lead editorial was as follows : 

Little "Smitty" did a humerous turn on yesterday's comic page, but the sub- 
jects of 10 other comics could have been listed as follows : first fight ; domestic 
quarrel ; torture ; death : murder ; arson ; despair ; deception ; fright ; theft. 

This publisher's analysis of the comic page further said : "We are just one of 
hundreds of clients of the syndicates that sell comics, and the latter's attitude 
is that the rest of their customers are apparently satisfied — so they cannot be 
bothered with our lone complaint." 

Unfortunately the public is never vocal and comic books, like newspapers, 
are manufactured for profit and should not be condemned per se. This is clearly 
proven by the various witnesses who have appeared here and in other cities too. 

What is desirable and necessary is a change in public taste. 

During the "spinach" era, teachers complained that, among other "comics," 
Pop-Eye the Sailor was ruining the spelling of every "reading" child. That 
profession never followed up and educators everywhere left the subject to be 
pondered over by psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and pediatricians. 

In the meantime, while all the various educational and social agencies sat 
idly by, some of the comic book industry subsidized child study agencies, groups, 
and even parents' groups, filling the air with the rantings of those who sought the 
pot of gold. 

The prevention of juvenile delinquency is far more important than fighting 
crime and horror in newspapers and books, or on the air waves, and TV, too. 

Give the adult public proper substitutes for this filth and trash and the comic- 
book industry, now reduced by over 60 percent in sales, will soon eliminate 
itself. There will remain no profit in publishing smut, if the public is properly 
educated. Those who blame children for spending 50 cents to $1 .50 at one buying 
session on comic books should blame those who give their children such allow- 


ances. In many cases some children work for such moneys and others have been 
known to steal in order to satisfy such an appetite. 

Substitute clean comics, in good taste, with large type to aid in Interesting 
reading, scripted in good English and proper grammar, and we will go a long 
way to eliminate juvenile waywardness. Keep children occupied, their minds 
active in athletics and in interesting education and we will have very little 
delinquency. In fact, I suspect most of it is even now a matter of adjectives 

The Chairman. Now will you call your first witness ? 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Monroe Froehlich. 

The Chairman. Mr. Froehlich, will you be sworn ? Do you swear 
the evidence you are about to give before this subcommittee will be the 
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Froehlich. I do. 


The Chairman. Will you state your name, address, and association 
for the record, please ? 

Mr. Froehlich. My name is Monroe Froehlich, Jr. I am business 
manager of Magazine Management Co., 270 Park Avenue, New York 

Mr. Beaser. Do you have a statement you wish to make ? 

Mr. Froehlich. I don't have any prepared statement. I have made 
some notes on matters which I think are pertinent. I want to be sure 
I stay within the area of fact rather than opinion. 

The Chairman. Would you prefer to make your presentation from 
the notes or would you prefer to have counsel examine you ? 

Mr. Froehlich. I don't think it makes any difference, Mr. Chair- 
man, just so long as I can refer to my notes to properly answer the 

The Chairman. You may proceed in your own manner, Mr. Froeh- 

Mr. Beaser. Will you tell us a little bit about Magazine Manage- 
ment Co., what it is and how it operates in the crime-comic- field or in 
its total operation ? I wish you would give a picture and perspective. 

Mr. Froehlich. Magazine Management Co. is a partnership which 
owns a number of publishing corporations. These corporations pub- 
lish comic books in various fields of editorial content, as well as a fairly 
large number of conventional magazines in different fields. Along 
with that we publish paper-back novels, also in various fields of read- 
ing interest. 

Mr. Beaser. These are some of the comic books that you publish on 
the board here ; is that right ? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir, those are some of our titles. We have 
roughly 60 titles which are active. 

Mr. Beaser. Sixty comic books that are active? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir; published either on a bimonthly or 
monthly frequency. 

Tlie Chairman. Does the Chair understand correctly that Marvel 
Comic Book Co. publishes 60 different titles? 

Mr. Froehlich. Approximately, Mr. Chairman. Marvel Comics 
group is a nonentity, so to speak. Marvel Comics group is a name 


applied to our magazines for advertising-space purposes. It is his- 
toric in our business to sell the advertising space in our magazines, 
whether they be comic or conventional style, on a group basis if you 
have two or more magazines as a publisher. 

Mr. Beaser. Let me get the organizational structure a little clearer. 
How many corporations constitute Magazine Management Co. ? 

Mr. Froehlich. Magazine Management Co. owns stock in approxi- 
mately 35 corporations. 

Mr. Beaser. Those corporations are in charge of the publication 
of the comic books, the other books similar to this? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir; we publish a wide variety of conventional 
magazines, hunting and fishing magazines. We have a book devoted 
to the automobile, a magazine called Auto Age, with styling features, 
and so on. In addition we have television magazines as well as a half 
dozen of the conventional motion-picture fan-type magazines. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you distribute, yourself, these magazines you pub- 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir. We have a wholly owned distributing 
company called Atlas Magazines, Inc. The stock in that corporation 
is held by the publishing corporations, and we distribute no magazines 
other than those we publish ourselves. We are a publisher-distributor. 

Mr. Beaser. Both? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. What you would call an independent distributor? 

Mr. Froehlich. We distribute through the independent whole- 
salers in the United States. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you distribtue any comic-book magazines other 
than those which you publish ? 

Mr. Froehlich. No, sir, no magazines published by other pub- 
lishers. We distribute only our magazines through Atlas, our wholly 
owned subsidiary distributing company. 

Mr. Beaser. You distribute to independent wholesalers in various 
cities ? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir; exactly as Curtis, McCall Co. 

Mr. Beaser. Can you give us the approximate size, as far as the 
comic books are concerned, of the monthly distribution ? 

Mr. Froehlich. I believe I can give you an average, based on the 
last 6 months of the printed orders. I would say approximately 10 

Mr. Beaser. A month ? 

Mr. Froehlich. A month, divided into roughly 30 to 35 titles per 

Mr. Beaser. And of what variety are they, what kind of comics? 

Mr. Froehlich. If I may have a moment I can give you the exact 
information on that. I understood you were interested primarily in 
the weird and so-called crime comics. 

Mr. Beaser. Crime and horror comics. 

Mr. Froehlich. I would like to have the right, if I may, to expand 
on that, because that is a very small segment of our total comic out- 
put. We publish approximately 4 to 5 — it varies because of the fre- 
quency variations from time to time — so-called weird or fantastic 
or science fiction type of comics per month. That is out of a total 


average production per month of 35 comics approximately per month. 
It breaks down as follows : 

We have no crime books. We have two anticrime comics. One 
is called Justice and the other is called Police in Action. Justice is 
an old title ; we published it for many years and it is based primarily 
on true cases, and so on, and in both of those anticrime comics we 
carefully adhere to what we think is the correct pattern, that forces 
of law and order are never held up to ridicule, government agencies 
as well as agents representing government are respected, and in the 
end the criminal always has a disastrous disappearance or experi- 
ence. We have never had any adverse comment concerning those, to 
the best of my knowledge. I can't recall any correspondence, nor even 
one letter, about those two anticrime comics. We publish approxi- 
mately 9 western comics per month, about 9 of the so-called war-type 
comics per month. I just saw a few up there, Combat Casey, Combat 
Kelly, and so on. 

We have a large number in this so-called teen-age field, including 
some comics which again are very old, Miss America, Patsy Walker. 
They have a large sale and have gone on for years. 

That is roughly 15 teen-age books, 9 in the war-type field, 9 in the 
westerns, 2 books which we call anticrime. Justice and Police in Ac- 
tion, and 8 so-called weird or science fiction or fantastic field. 

Mr. Beaser. Now we had one that was put in as an exhibit yester- 
day, or rather we were shown a picture of it. I will have it brought 
on. It is from your Marvel comic group, Strange Tales, May 1954, 
which is a story of roughly a doctor committing hari-kari, letting 
his patient die early in the story, and ultimately it winds up with the 
scene showing the wife dead, the doctor with a knife in him beside her. 

Now, you are a member of the Comic Publishing Association ? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir. We are just as disappointed and unhappy 
about the way the association has progressed as Mr. Shultz, who testi- 
fied yesterday. Incidentally he is our attorney, and I and the other 
members of our firm have been very vocal in the last year trying to 
get a real association. As Mr. Shultz testified, it has been difficult. 
We feel the association hast lost a great deal rather than gained. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Shultz said something about the fact that the seal 
of the association, which is on your publication Strange Tales, is there 
but it is a self -policing business, that you yourself are the conscience 
of the enforcement. 

Mr. Froehlich. That is the way it is now. Up to 3 years ago there 
was a real active self-censorship program in effect. Now I believe 
there are only three publishing companies that belong to the asso- 

Mr. Beaser. Would you say that a seal such as that, with the doctor 
lying there thrusting a knife in his stomach, and lying there dying, 
would you say that would conform to the code? 

Mr. Froehlich. I would say this, Mr. Beaser. From what story 
is that ? 

Mr. Beaser. Strange Tales, that one right there. 

Mr. Froehlich. It is very difficult for me to answer that properly 
because what we are doing here is taking four panels and trying to 
interpret a story from those four panels. I have read through these 
books. I can't say I scanned them extremely objectively but I do 
go through every one of our titles. I don't believe I can answer that. 


I think I would like to go through the whole thing and answer your 

Mr. Beaser. I am trying to ask how ejffective is the self-policing 
of the code? 

Mr. Feoehlich. I think it is very effective so far as we are con- 
cerned. I can't speak for all the companies in the business. As I say, 
there are only three publishers, including ourselves, wdio belong to the 
association. We try at all times to abide by the code. 

Mr. Beaser. This you say would abide by it; is that right? 

Mr. Froehlich. I think it is impossible for me to properly answer 
the question because illustrated here are 4 panels out of a story that 
may contain as many as 30 panels. That is the same thing as taking 
a still from a conventional motion picture, let us say, and using a 
still which by itself may be sensational to advertise the motion picture 
and therefore either condemn the picture as a whole — I am not trying 
to duck your question, I don't feel I can properly answer that. 

Mr. Beaser. Let me ask you another question that might help me. 
Am I to understand that the code only means that if justice triumphs 
in the end, anything goes before that? 

Mr. Froehlich. No, sir, far from that. 

Mr. Beasee. Then I thought you could not depict scenes of crime 
such as that, and we have a few more. 

Mr. Froehlich. I would believe that the code obviates the depiction 
of crime, but I think that segment must be considered as a whole 
rather than as a small part of the whole. 

Mr. Beaser. This is from Adventures Into Weird Worlds, the May 
issue. It is the scene of a man being crushed to death by some sort 
of vise. 

Mr. Froehlich. That is quite reminiscent of a very well-known story- 
called The Pit and the Pendulum, which has been a classic in Ameri- 
can literature for many decades. I don't know if the artist had that 
in mind at the time. Again I am not trying to justify it or say it is 
wrong. I feel that we are in the area of weird comics and only a 
very small portion of our business — it is all part of our concept of a 
merchandising program of publishing. I do have some notes on that, 
if I may refer to them. 

Mr. Beaser. Go ahead. 

Mr. Froehlich. This is on weird comics, on weird comics and ref- 
erence to comics in general. I have a copy of the code. We have 
many copies in our comic department. 

The Chairman. Will you furnish the subcommittee with a copy? 

Mr. Froehlich. I will be happy to. 

This is the code of the Comic Magazine Publishers Association. 
This supplants the code which was originally set up for us. 

The Chairman. Counsel advises us that the code is already in the 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir. 

(The code appears on p. 70, as "Exhibit No. 9.") 

Mr. Froehlich. We welcome the opportunity to express our opinion 
concerning comic books and controversies pertaining to them. It is 
our considered opinion that in the main the public interest is best 
served through enlightened self -regulation resulting from full public 
discussion and resulting open competition. Invariably undesirable 
publications and those put out hastily by marginal publishers fall by 


the wayside and worthy publications produced by conscientious pub- 
lishers endure to entertain young and old. 

We publish many old comic magazines and we fully realize our 
responsibility to the demands of youthful and adult readers of comics. 
I am referring now specifically to our line. 

It is and always has been our aim to avoid production of such comic 
magazines as may be considered in any way conducive to lowering the 
moral and ethical standards of those who read them. With this in 
mind we sometime back retained the services of Dr. Thompson as a 
consultant. Dr. Thompson was a psychiatrist employed at the time 
by the Board of Education of the City of New York and after a year 
and a half the board of education decided that they would not permit 
an employee to continue as a consultant in an outside field and for 
that reason Dr. Thompson gave up her consulting position with our 
firm. Obviously at that time we stopped using Dr. Thompson's name. 

Dr. Thompson consulted with the editor and prepared for us a code 
which we followed religiously. Since that date the code has been 
supplanted by the code drawn up by the Association of Comic Book 
Publishers which I believe was acknowledged to be a carefully planned, 
well thought out, and objective code yesterday by the members of the 

Under our arrangement with Dr. Thompson every comic book we 
published was submitted to her for reading and criticism. Changes 
were made in accordance with her criticisms. 

In the main I can truthfully say during the time that Dr. Thompson 
acted as our consultant she had no adverse criticism for the great 
majority of our comic titles and when there was criticism we changed 
it in accordance with her recommendations. 

Mr. Beaser. When was this? 

Mr. Froehlich. Back in 1948 and 1949, for a period of a year and a 

Mr. Beaser. She is no longer with you ? 

Mr. Froehlich. No, sir ; because the board of education ruled that 
an employee of the board could not hold an outside position as a con- 
sultant, and for that reason she was supposed to sever her connection 
with us. 

As a result of the framework within which we operate we have 
developed a well-organized, intelligent, regulatory procedure and con- 
tinue to strive to maintain the high standard of our comic books. Our 
editorial and artist departments have been taught to understand the 
reactions of readers to the publications so produced. There is no ques- 
tion that a serious and directed effort with constant improvement at 
self-regulation has been successful as has been evidenced in the past 
by the favorable comment of many of those who have matched our 
work and effort and particularly by the fact that our sales of our 
entire comic line are consistently good as compared to our competition. 

All of our comic book magazines, approximately 60 titles, are care- 
fully edited with regard to the editorial as well as the art work con- 
tained therein. We avoid the publication of material which can be 
considered offensive or salacious. Obviously we try to stay within the 
code. We feel that we not only observe the code in the spirit but in 
fact as well. 

49632—54 — —12 


Mr. Beaser. Is there not one provision in the code, as I recall from 
yesterday, relating to the depiction of scenes of crime and sadism? 
Mr. Froehlich. Paragraph 2 of the code reads : 

Crime should not be presented in sucli a way as to throw sympathy against the 
law and justice or to inspire others with a desire for imitation. No comic shall 
show the details and methods of a crime committed by a youth. Policemen, 
judges, government officials, and respected institutions should not be portrayed 
as stupid and ineffective or represented in such a way as to weaken respect 
for established authority. 

That bears on the point I was making, to take a panel or two panels 
out of a story requiring 30 to 40 panels is not, I believe, suflScient to 
judge the entire content of that particular story or the book. 

Mr. Beaser. That panel of the person being squeezed does not come 
within your definition of sadism ? 

Mr. Froehlich. Well, I question if I am qualified to answer that 
particularly, as that is a point which is in great dispute, as you know, 
otherwise you would not be having this hearing. 

Mr. Beaser. "Wliat I am trying to get at is, that what it comes down 
to now is, that that is each individual publisher's definition or interpre- 
tation of the provisions of the code. 

Mr. Froehlich. I think I will get to that in just a moment. 

Mr. Beaser. I am sorry. 

Mr. Froehlich. We have no so-called crime comics, but we do have 
the two anticrime comics I mentioned. Justice and Police Action, 
both of which are based on true stories, primarily. They are es- 
sentially no different than the conventional detective magazine. The 
stories in these magazines are presented to depict nothing other than 
lespect for order and justice. Our code policy precludes the pre- 
senting of crime or criminals in a favorable light. Nor do we show 
the representatives of our government in ridicule or contempt. We at 
all times in these two books handle an endless story in a manner which 
contributes to the prestige of the individual and the organizations 
enforcing law and order. 

Now with regard to weird comics specifically in our concept within 
our own line, we wish to be realistic. We are a private company 
engaged in the publishing business and the profit motive is what com- 
pels us to publish magazines in certain fields. We are in the publish- 
ing business and cannot change the reading taste of the public. We 
are in the publishing business just as any adult works in the normal 
course of his life for his living. That does not mean that we are not 
mindful of our obligations to the potential reader of all of our maga- 
zines. We are parents and fathers 

The Chairman. Let me get this straight, Mr. Froehlich. You say 
you cannot change the reading habits of your public ? 

Mr. Froehlich. I believe that basically would apply. 

The Chairman. You are in the business for the profit motive? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Now by the same token a saloon keeper is in the 
business for a profit motive but he does not have to keep selling to a 
man until he is dead drunk, does he? 

Mr. Froehlich. I agree. But I think the circumstances are far dif- 
ferent because the saloonkeeper knows quite well what the effect is 
going to be if he keeps plying his customer. 


The Chairman. Do all publishers today know what the effect will 
be on each individual ? 

Mr, Froehlich. No, Mr. Senator. I don't believe there has been any 
conclusive evidence to date. In here you will see if there is any 
evidence at all, however small, and it is agreed upon by a reputable 
substantial group of persons so that there is no divergence of opinion 
by the experts, we would be the first company to give them up because 
at best it is a minute part of our total business. I think if those 
magazines were carefully read for the weirdness, you will find that 
in every case the cover may be much more attention getting — not 
maybe but it is definitely more attention getting — than the editorial 
content contained therein. 

The Chairman. I am sorry I interrupted you. I mean there is 
an area here that requires thorough exploration. 

Mr. Froehlich. I certainly agree. 

I can't overemphasize the point — well, from the point of our billing 
to the wholesalers in the United States those comics represent pos- 
sibly 5 to 6 percent of our business. Certainly we are not going to 
hang on to something because of the profit motive involved which 
.represents only 5 to 6 percent. 

Incidentally the weird comics do not sell as well as the national 
average of all of our other books. 

I believe I left off at the point which is that we are parents and 
fathers just as many of us here in this room. We watch sales trends, 
just as manufacturers do in many industries. Merchants and manufac- 
turers of all types watch trends, and frequently change their products 
to meet the demands. Generally speaking, the stronger companies are 
those that are most alert and the most sensitive to sales patterns and 
in many cases those patterns are set by the consumer first and the 
manufacturer, the merchandiser involved, produces to conform to 
those patterns. 

^ Mr. Beaser. Is it possible, then, that assuming that these are get- 
ting into the hands of kids in large numbers that they want them; 
therefore they are creating demand ? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes ; I really feel that way as to most of the folks 
with whom we have talked. One of the best proofs possibly of the 
point as to the readership is that I believe — I am not certain of this, 
but I think you will find that almost all the advertising in those books 
advertises adult items. Now the greatest majority of the advertisers 
are so-called mail order advertisers. They are interested in just one 
thing, results. 

The Chairman. You are referring to the books on the board there ? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, which would indicate there is a substantial 
percentage of adult readership in our total sales figure. 

Mr. Beaser. Also a large number of ads for kid stuff? 

Mr. Froehlich. That is correct ; but if you go through those books 
I tliink you will find most of the inside ads are aimed primarily at the 
adult market. The mere fact that those advertisers come back month 
after month would indicate that they are reaching for their customers 
the adult market. 

Mr. Hannoch. "Wash away ugly pimples" ; do you think that goes 
to adults ? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, because I think the book itself is bought to 
; a substantial degree by adults. Incidentally, as we all know, pimples 


very often come with puberty. So I don't think it is unreasonable tO' 
carry an ad which might do something for a youngster 12 to 14 years 

Mr. Beaser, You mean adults to include teen-agers ? 

Mr. Froehlich. I am saying it is quite difficult to evaluate your 
readership on these books, but I think there is a very substantial per- 
centage in a true adult area. 

Mr. Hannoch. "Bed wetting, how to stop bed wetting." 

Mr. Froehlich. That is an adult problem. Certainly not to the 
degree of a 2-month-old child, but certainly it is prevalent enough. 
You will find that in colleges, a person of college age, such as that. 
The Armed Forces know that. 

Now may I continue ? 

Mr. Beaser. Yes. 

Mr. Froehlich. I say we watch sales trends. We frequently 
change our product to meet the demand. Wlien the demand was 
ci'eated for so-called weird or fantastic comics we felt that it was wise 
for our company to have a relatively few comics in the field provided 
they met the standards. 

Now hanging over this part of our operation I can't overemphasize 
the fact that dollarwise it is 5 to 6 percent tops, but the Sword of 
Damocles criticism is directed by many in the direction of weird 
comics and this faces us with the problem of producing them or with- 
drawing from that phase of the comic market. We are in the comic 
business and we want to stay in it. It is a good business. There is 
no reason for it to be sullied by marginal operators. 

If we are convinced that any comic magazine or any conventional 
magazine we publish causes harm to any reader, we would immedi- 
ately discontinue such a publication. We are not so crass as to be 
unmindful of the effects on the reader, but to the best of our knowledge 
nobody yet has proven that our weird comics are harmful. 

Now we are still in an area of mixed opinion on that point in gen- 
eral and additionally we get into an area of degree with regard to the 
art and editorial work in weird comics. We have many times spoken 
to our editors and we through the editors' supervision believe we ad- 
here to the letter and the spirit of the code. 

Mr. Beaser. Would you also say that nobody has proven to your 
satisfaction that any of these crime and horror comics can do harm ? 

Mr. Froehlich. I wouldn't say that. I have maintained a large 
file over the years on opinions as to the value and merit of comics, and 
within the comic field generally of specific types, for and against them. 
I have tried to do as much reading as I could as a layman on this 
subject, because I feel so strongly about the business. It is a good 
business. It serves a purpose just as a magazine of many fields and 
newspapers serve a purpose. The youngsters love them. The mere 
fact that we sell 7 or 8 or 6 million copies per month without adver- 
tising or without any conscious effort to create a demand other than a 
superior product would indicate that. 

Certainly I know that the Gluecks testified before your committee; 
they certainly are highly respected as authorities in the field, and I 
was very much struck in their book Task of Prevention, which I be- 
lieve is the layman's book, of the tremendous work they put together, 
with the following quotation : 


Children have to live in a world as it is. Fundamental changes cannot be ef- 
fectuated in a short space of time. Too many special interests, prejudices, 
values are concerned. Nor can children be made good by removing evil out of 
their experience. Character is not built that way. One does not correct the 
basic problems presented an energetic lad by taking movies and comics away 
from him. If he has need for such outlets he will get to them and deprivation 
is no cure. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you believe then that anything could be put into 
a comic that would be detrimental to a child? 

Mr. Froehlich. Certainly not. As publishers, and I am speaking 
only of our own line, I do not feel that we would at any time conscious- 
ly put anything in any one of our magazines which might be detri- 
mental to the reader. " Now we can't evaluate fully obviously some- 
thing that a reader might say of our magazines, how he would react 
to that. We don't know, but there is such a tremendous divergence of 
opinion among experts in the field I hardly think we are qualified to 
prejudge on that point. We would like to know. 

Mr. Beaser. In your concern who does the examination for com- 
pliance with the code ? Do you do it ? 

Mr. Froehlich. It is done, I would say, before and after the maga- 
zine is produced. I believe I made the point that our editor, assistant 
editors, and the artists with whom we work, as well as most of our 
writers, are familiar with the code, the fact that we have tried to ad- 
here very, very closely to it, and after the magazine is ultimately 
printed I see them. Others in our organization see them. And I 
cannot honestly say to you that we read every word in them. It is 
a physical impossibility with the volume that goes through, but we do 
watch them. 

Mr. Beaser. Where is the responsibility, on the artist or editor? 

Mr. Froehlich. I hasten to add that occasionally a mistake may be 
made but ours is a hurried business, a business of deadlines. There 
are divisions of responsibilities and such factors that make for errors, 
but basically we believe that 95 percent of our total comic production 
is acceptable by any standard. We publish westerns, teen-age, ro- 
mance, adventure, as well as comics, and occasionally comics in other 

I have a sad story to tell you about Bible comics, if I may touch on 
that point. Weird comics are apparently wanted by the reading pub- 
lic. There is a demand for them. We did not create the demand. We 
still don't create the demand. We do not advertise or promote, but 
we do want our share of the market if there are no deleterious effects. 
Nothing would please us more than to produce the technically finest 
possible comic, wonderful artwork, fine worthwhile editorial matter, 
etc. But I have news for you, nobody would buy such comics. 

Mr. Beaser. Is the sole theory whether there is a demand ? 

Mr. Froehlich. No, sir ; but we are in the publishing business, and 
if there is a demand for a certain type of published material and there 
is no reason to feel on a conclusive basis that there can be any harmful 
effects from the reading of any one of our publications, I hardly see 
why we should not fill the demand. I can hardly see it is any different 
from an automobile manufacturer stopping the manufacture of auto- 
mobiles just because people get killed in automobiles. 

Mr. Beaser. They do put brakes on them. 

Mr. Froehlich. And so do we. We certainly do. 


May I tell you about Bible tales? I mentioned 5 to 6 percent in 
dollar volume in our business is in the weird field. We have no crime 

Mr. Beaser. You have no crime comics under your definition of 
crime comics. 

Mr. Froehlich. I think if a crime book is one which will depict a 
conventional crime story, the story of John Dillinger, then all the 
mass media are guilty of the same thing we are guilty of. 

We published a comic magazine called Bible Tales. The sixth issue 
is out now. We were very anxious to move into this field if we could. 
There are no competitive books of this type on the market. We feel 
that it is a fine worthwhile type of publication and there may be a real 
market in the United States and Canada. Our editor went up to Yale 
Divinity School for guidance as to the sort of subject material that 
should go into this book. Each issue is a combination of better stories, 
better incidents, from the Old Testament and the New Testament. 

We normally print 350,000 copies of a conventional magazine in 
the western field or in the teen-age field. We started with only 265,000 
copies for the first issue. If there is a real market for this sort of 
thing we felt that because the print order was one-third less than we 
would normally print, that the sales percentage would be abnormally 
high. We went right ahead with the second and the third issues. 
The artwork is far superior. It is the finest artwork we could buy. 
The editorial is most carefully handled. The book cost us better 
than 40 percent more than the conventional comic, not including the 
income from advertising, which of course was lost in this thing. Un- 
fortunately our final print order on the last issue is down to 230,000 
copies. The book came in with a 34 percent sale, meaning we had sold 
only about 80,000 copies, and on that issue we lost over $6,000. To 
date we have lost over $29,000. 

Mr. Beaser. What did you sell that for? 

Mr. Froelicii. Ten cents. That magazine also enjoyed the finest 
display we could ever hope to get from the wholesalers of the United 
States. We previously communicated with them and told them what 
we wanted to do and what the purpose was. They went all out in 
giving the magazine a break saleswise, and in spite of that there are 
only 80,000 people in the United States who are willing to lay down 
a thin dime for a book of that caliber. 

Mr. Beaser. Do all these magazines come under the editorship of a 
single person ? 

Mr. Froehlich. No, sir, we are departmentalized to a certain ex- 
tent. We have some men's books, heavy on adventure. Those books 
have an editor. The motion picture magazines have an editor. The 
TV boolv operates under the same, but the associate editor is charged 
with them. 

Mr. Beaser. You have one for comic books ? 

Mr. Froehlich. For comic books and two assistant editors, and 
so on. 

Mr. Beaser. Does the editor have time to see the material before it 
is printed ? I just want to get the mechanics first. 

Mr. Froehoch. Does he ever see it ? 

Mr. Beaser. Does the editor in charge see the material before it is 
printed ? 

Mr. Froehlich. Absolutely. He buys it. 


Mr. Beaser. Then he is the one who does the enforcement of the 
code if anyone does it ? 

Mr. Feoehlich. In the next to the final analysis. 

Mr. Beaser. Or is it his assistant who does it i 

Mr. Froehlich. That is a "toughy." Our buying is handled only 
by our editors. Many of the revisions of the editorials submitted to 
them arc handled by the assistant editors. 

Mr. Beaser. How many people have their own interpretation of this 
code in its application ? 

Mr. Froehlich. There may be a half dozen. So far as the comics 
are concerned, only a few. There is no problem on the conventional 

Mr. Beaser. You distribute these by mail or by truck or how ? 

Mr. Froehlich. Our magazines go mail, freight and express. In 
the case of the comics about 35 percent go by mail, the balance by 
freight, express, truck. 

Mr. Beaser. Are all these entered as second-class mail? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir. We don't publish a single magazine ex- 
cepting an occasional so-called one shot which would not qualify 
for second-class mailing privileges and for which we don't apply 
for second-class entry. 

Mr. Beaser. All those have been accepted for mailing and are mail- 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes. There is no reason why they shouldn't be. 
There are many magazines 

Mr. Beaser. We couldn't get them on one board. 

Mr. Froehlich. I think I mentioned we have this magazine Auto 
Age and All the World's Cars, one shot, baseball, boxing, and so on. 

Mr. Beaser. We have heard a few words about a possible practice 
called tie-in sales in the distribution of crime and horror comics. 
You are a publisher and a distributor? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. You deal then with the wholesaler who in turn deals 
with the dealer ? 

Mr. Froelich. That is correct. 

Mr. Beaser. Does your concern apply pressure upon the wholesaler 
to carry a complete line ? Must he ? 

Mr. Froelich. We wish he would. There are roughly 800-odd 
wholesalers in the United States. We operate our distributing com- 
pany in the identical pattern that those other distributing companies 
follow, such as Curtis and Science, McCall Co. I believe Ave have 14 
roadmen who would normally be considered the equivalent of salesmen 
who contact the wholesalers in their territories. We have many so- 
called open spots, an open spot being a — I would like to change that — 
there are wholesalers who do not carry our entire line for various rea- 
sons. They may carry only 20 of the 35 comic title releases per month. 
They may claim that the pressure is too great or the retailers in their 
area cannot absorb them. But we wish the wholesalers would carry 
our entire line. Most wholesalers in the United States do carry it. 
There are many open spots, however. 

The Chairman. You were going to tell the committee what an open 
spot is, what you call an open spot. 

Mr. Froelich. For example, we publish 35 comic titles on an aver- 
age per month. There are wholesalers in the United States who will 


say "We will take 20 of your comic titles," at which point we have our 
roadman in there and he says, "Come on, this is the best selling comic 
line in the business, and there is no reason why you shouldn't take our 
other 15 and drop 15 distributed by our competitors." It is a constant 
pressure to keep your magazines going in there, but nothing like a 
tie-in, because we are not strong enough and the retailer through the 
wholesaler brings terrific pressure to bear on you. He will draw his 
copies from the wholesaler and drop them on the counter and never 
expose them for the sale, which is rough to take if you are a publisher, 
because you pay for that in the final analysis. 

The Chairman. Can the retailer send them back at the end of the 
month ? 

Mr. Froelich. Yes. Ours is a consignment business and they can 
send them back. 

The Chairman. Within what period ? 

Mr. Froelich. We try to have all the returns in within 60 to 90 
days of the off-sale period, but you must honor your commitment to 
the wholesaler. We would do it under any circumstances, and if he 
should happen to find the copies of a magazine long after that period 
he can return them to his — referring to the retailer — if he happens to 
find them in the store and returns them to the wholesaler, the whole- 
saler will return such copies to us and we will grant credit for them. 

I can honestly say that at no time do we lower the boom so far as re- 
turn date is concerned. 

Mr. Beaser. If a particular retailer or wholesaler sends back month 
after month one of your Mystery Tales, he would still continue to get 
Avhatever he wanted on some other of your products ? 

Mr. Froelich. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. "What happens in the wholesale end ? If I am a whole- 
saler will you send me a copy of next month's Mystic and say "How 
many copies do you get ?" 

Mr. Froehlich. No, sir. Your allotments to the various whole- 
salers in the United States are generally set on the basis of experience. 
You know approximately what your other books — in the case of a new 
title you know approximately what your other books are doing in that 
field by that specific wholesaler. Go to your records and you set your 
allotment on that basis. We watch our allotments very, very care- 
fully. We don't want to waste copies. We are more interested in a 
high percentage of sales than we are in total number of copies sold. 
So that we try to use every possible device to properly allocate the 
quantity per wholesaler. We check competitive records constantly. 
Through our roadmen we can get the figures on competitive books 
going into the various wholesale agencies just as the other companies 
can ijet the figures on our books. 

Mr. Beaser. As a wholesaler, the first time I see next month's 
Mystic is when the bundle comes in? 

Mr. Froehlich. That is right; but you know what you are going to 
get because you get a card from our distributing company's office ad- 
vising as to the allotment. That is done so that the wholesaler in the 
area can break down the quantity for the retailers he serves. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, you say there is no opportunity for you to bring 
pressure to bear upon the wholesaler ? 


Mr. Froehlich. "We try to sell the wholesaler through our roadmen 
the same way as the manufacturer of cigarettes tries to sell more cigar- 
ettes to the wholesaler or the jobber handling them. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you heard that pressure is being brought by the 
wholesalers upon the dealers? 

Mr. Froehlich. No, sir. It may be. I can't answer that. I am 
too far removed from that end of the business. 

Mr. Beaser. There have been, you know, some statutes passed in 
some of the States outlawing tie-in sales? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. You still say that all these publications of yours are 
mailable in the post office? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir. If the magazine is — if we know they are 
going to publish, rather, if we anticipate publishing four issues or 
more of a title we always apply for a second-class entry privilege. 
We can't get it on a so-called one shot. The magazine must be pub- 
lished at least four times a year. 

Mr. Beaser. Is Focus mailable? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Is I Confess also mailable? 

Mr. Froehlich. To the best of my knowledge, they are. We have 
had very little difficulty with the post office. From time to time we 
have had some dispute in the N. and P. section because of the change 
in frequencies. There may be errors in the office pulling out the 
proper kinds of forms which might be nonmailable. It is very seldom. 

Mr. Beaser. You think some of these may have been held nonmail- 

Mr. Froehlich. Occasionally, it can happen. But invariably, we 
could go down there and straighten it out. That applies to one issue. 
It does not affect the magazines over the continuity of time. 

Senator Hennings. In those instances where the material has been 
held to be nonmailable, have they been in terms of the advertisements 
or reading content, or both ? 

Mr. Froelich. It is generally considered as a package, Senator. 
That happens occasionally, and as soon as we find out the cause for 
that we immediately eliminate it. Again when that does happen you 
are working in an area of opinion. It certainly happens. A picture 
which may be accepted in a newspaper may become so prosaic, and 
you put the thing in a book and somebody will write in and say, "Gen- 
tlemen, that shouldn't happen," and the Post Office might take a stand 
one way or the other. 

Senator Hennings. Is there some variation, too, in the postal 

Mr. Froelich. Not that I know of. I think the procedure is quite 
standardized. I think the Post Office has always been extremely fair 
and reasonable in their attitudes. On the few occasions we have had 
difficulty concerning the entire scope of the production per year we 
have always adjusted it satisfactorily. 

The Chairman. What was the nature of those difficulties? 

Mr. Froehlich. We have run into an occasional problem such as 
this. We publish a comic book. My Friend Irma. Some time ago the 
Post Office ruled that such — I want to be very careful, I am not an 
attorney — but generally, if I remember properly, it was ruled to the 


effect that the comic book, My Friend Irma, so-called royalty-type 
book, was in practice an advertising device featuring a central charac- 
ter. You see, My Friend Irma is a title on it by Cy Howard who, I 
believe, at that time was under contract with CBS and there was a 
series of My Friend Irma motion pictures as well as radio and tele- 
vision shows. In any event, the Post Office considered that our comic 
book, for which we paid a royalty to CBS on a per copy sold basis, was 
an advertising device featuring building up and enhancing the value 
of My Friend Irma, and they cracked down on it and said we were not 
entitled to second-class privileges. There was quite a hassle about it. 
Unfortunately we lost. 

That set a pattern for the industry generally. It did not affect 
titles to which second-class entry had been granted prior to that de- 
cision, but since that time it is not possible to obtain second-class mail- 
ing privileges on so-called royalty-type books. I wish we had a lot 
more of them. 

I have a few more comments. We were talking about the fact that 
we certainly know that we cannot change people's taste. Unfor- 
tunately this was very upsetting, to try to put out something that has 
a great deal of moral, esthetic value, and have it backfire like that. 
That does not mean that we should cater to every literary demand that 
will sell, but the lines in a few fields are not clearly defined. 

If the gentlemen on your committee would tell us what we should 
produce in a comic technique such books probably would not sell. 
We have discussed this problem with many decent, intelligent per- 
sons, educators, psychiatrists, clear-thinking members of PTA groups, 
ministers, and so on. Inevitably such persons, if they do have criti- 
cisms, recommend a type of comic book which would appeal only to 
the small intellectual minority in the United States, and which would 
be basically uneconomic and inconsistent with the pattern followed 
by the other vast media. 

Senator Hennings. That applies somewhat to television, so-called 
educational, documentary films, radio programs? 

Mr. Froehlich. Yes, sir. 

Senator Hennings. The word "educational" sometimes causes people 

Mr. Froehlich. It has to be sugar-coated and made palatable. That 
is what we tried to do here. 

If something were to happen to change the demand of our reading 
public so that the only comic that would sell would be simple, ani- 
mated comics — and we have made books in that field — we would be 
all right. 

I can assure you that we would definitely get our share of such 
business, but while the rules of the game are as they are, we wish 
to maintain a foothold in all areas of comic fields, however tenuous 
that hold may be, with one tremendous provision, and that is that 
there is no proven evidence of harm to the reader. 

It is just as wrong to take motion picture selected stills and show 
bare legs and so forth and use the picture as representative of the 
entire industry as it is to take a relatively small number of comic 
books and brand a line or the industry. 

At least 95 percent of our production is completely defensible 
and our remaining 5 percent may be in the area of mixed opinion. 
But in our opinion, it is injurious to none. 


Now I think I should qualify that because in the last couple days, 
■while I have not been here, I have read some of the testimony. If 
there is sufficient evidence to prove that anything that we might 
publish might be injurious to a child who is in the pattern of becom- 
ing delinquent, we would stop, we would be the first ones to stop. 

This industry is highly competitive, and one of the vicious things 
that has happened to comics generally is that because of the fanatical 
pressure and exaggerated claims made about some comics in general, 
without being definitive in their statements, some good publishers 
have been forced to give up comic publishing. 

As in Gresham's law, the bad drives out the good, and a few hard- 
skinned, marginal publishers we know, have provided most of what 
the public demand in weird and so-called crime comics. 

The relatively few weird comics we publish cannot be considered 
in the category of those books, and our low sales figures for such 
books prove it. 

Speaking generally, if the criticism leveled against the content of 
■crime and weird comic books were to be carried to other literature, 
if all written material pertaining to violence, crime, savagery would 
come under scrutiny, then the very heart and sinew of literature might 

If an era of moral stigma concerning specific acts, words, or indi- 
vidual intention in written word were to surround all the literature, 
then how explain the value of the story of Cain and Abel or the slay- 
ing of the firstborn Egyptian children in the Old Testament? 

If violence per se had been outlawed from all literature, if the weird 
and savage in Taboo, would Mary Shelly have written Frankenstein, 
would Shakespeare have written Macbeth, would the legend of Billy 
the Kid, the homicidal gunmen known to present-day Americans of 
all ages, been written, would the stage be barren of the thrilling 
tragedies of Greek playwrights? 

Would not this Nation have suffered had Harriett Beecher Stowe 
not written Uncle Tom's Cabin? It, too, was replete with action, 
torture scenes, violence, and death. It was a period of unrest, tension, 
and violence. 

To then say to these kids you must not read about terror and occa- 
tional savagery, would be hypocrisy. Were these stories published 
by themselves with no other reason than to horrify, then criticism 
might be justified. 

There is known to be present a period of calm, of relaxation, after 
witnessing or participating through reading of a violent fact. We 
have had plenty of information gleaned from newspapers and quota- 
tions from men of principle, psychiatrist and child guidance counsel- 
ors and so on, to feel that way. 

Obviously, there are many who feel opposite. 

Mr. Beaser. You are talking about your own comics, or are you 
talking about all crime comics? 

Mr. Froehlich. I am referring only to our own books. You ask 
me why we should have some weird books, which is a small part of 
our business. 

For the reasons I have mentioned here. 

Mr. r)EASER. Some of your statements do not apply to other comics 
you have heard about ? 


Mr. Froehlich. I am not concerned with what the other people do. 

Mr. Hannqch. Which of your books would you say is like Cain 
and Abel and Shakespeare's Macbeth, and some of these other names 
you have given us ? 

Mr. Froehlich. I think the story of Cain and Abel is in some of 
the issues of Bible stories. 

Mr. Hannoch. Which of the horror comic magazines would you 
say compares to Cain and Abel ? 

Mr. Froehlich. I cannot offhand say, but I would be very happy, 
Mr. Hannoch, to have anybody from your committee, or all of the 
committee, come up to our office, and go through every book we pub- 
lished for a long time and try to assist you in every way possible. 

I am sure we can find the answer there. I am making the point 
that occasional tales of violence, savagery, even crime, has stemmed 
from the year 1 in literature. 

Crime comics, weird comics, gangster movies, western and science 
fiction might give the otherwise passive child an opportunity at least 
to repress violence. It may be true that such entertainment is an act 
of deterrent to the criminal impulse. 

I believe we have heard some testimony from reputable people to 
that effect. 

This is not an argument for or against a few weird comics. I merely 
wish to show that such comics generally are a modern adaptation of 
age-old themes in literature. 

Mr. Beaser. I have no questions. 

The Chairman. Senator Hennings? 

Senator Hennings. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman. I do think 
that Mr. Froehlich has expressed some very important parallels or 
analogies in terms of the great literature of the world and great plays. 

Hamlet has a number of assorted felonies. Macbeth, the Rape of 
Lucretia, and so on. 

Certainly Huck Finn was a juvenile delinquent himself by the stand- 
ards of that day, if not of this. And the saga of Billy the Kid and 
the Jesse James stories. 

I know I read all of those. Maybe I would be a lot better than I 
am if I had not read them, but I read them with great interest and 
delight, and certainly the Shakespearean plays are playing on Broad- 
way now. 

It is difficult to single out which one of these things may have an 
adverse impact and to what extent. 

Mr. Froehlich. May I add just one more thing. I think there have 
been some misstatements made to date which might unfairly brand 
the entire comic industry. 

No. 1, the volume of sales. We figure, and I believe that we have a 
fairly accurate yardstick to use because we are publishers, distribu- 
tors — we have our own men out to evaluate these things properly — 
that the sale is not anything like 70 or 80 or 100 million a year. 

At the present time I would guess — not guess, but a real good esti- 
mate, would be in the area of 40 to 45 million per month. 

Mr. Beaser. Sales? 

Mr. Froehlich. Sales. 

Mr. Beaser. How many printed each month ? 

Mr. Froehlich. Possibly double that at the present time. Normally 
you might figure there is a 60 to 62 or 63 percent sale. 


Mr. Be^vser. How many titles? 

Mr. Froehlich. Possibly 415 to 420. That is very hard to measure. 

Mr. Beaser. Wliat is your minimum print order for distribution ? 

Mr. Froehlich. Ours? 

Mr. Beaser. The normal. 

Mr. Froehlich. Let us say it averages around 350,000. The total 
impact on all the factors affecting delinquency, juvenile delinquency, 
that can possibly be contributed by crime or weird type comics, can 
itself be only infinitesimally small or the sheer statistics of the opera- 

The Chairman. The Chair has no questions, Mr. Froehlich. 

I do want to thank you for your appearance here today and say you 
have been helpful to the subcommittee. We know that we confront a 
real problem in this field. 

Mr. Froehlich. Mr. Chairman, if we can be of any assistance in 
any way, we are only too happy to do so. Our records are open to 
anyone on your committee. We shall be glad to help. 

The Chairman. We appreciate your cooperation and your complete 

Mr. Froehlich. Thank you, sir. 

May I produce something as exhibits ? 

The Chairman. Yes, indeed. 

Mr. Froehlich. I have copies of our comic stories thrown out. 

The Chairman. These will be made part of the permanent files. 
Let those be exhibit No. 23. 

(The comic books were marked "Exhibit No. 23," and are on file 
with the subcommittee.) 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. William Richter. 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you are 
about to give before this subcommittee of the Committee on the Judi- 
ciary of the United States Senate will be the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Richter. I do, sir. 


The Chairman. Will you state your full name, address, and associa- 
tion, for the record, please ? 

Mr. Richter. William Richter. My law office is at 150 Broadway. 
I live at 2600 Henry Hudson Parkway in Riverdale. 

The Chairman. You represent the News Dealers Association of 
Greater New York? 

Mr. Richter. That is right. I also represent the News Dealers 
Association of America. The News Dealers Association of Greater 
New York is the official association, the organization of the news- 
dealers of this city, particularly the licensed newsdealers. 

The Chairman. Do you have a prepared statement? 

Mr. Richter. No, sir. I have some notes here which I should like 
to call to the committee's attention, but I will be glad to begin my dis- 
cussion by answering some of the statements that have been made by 
previous witnesses, if I may. 

The Chairman. You may proceed in your own manner. 


Mr. RiCHTER. I am quoting from the newspaper reports. I did not 
hear the direct testimony, but I question one particular statement made 
by Henry E. Schultz, supposedly counsel to the Comic Magazine 
Publishers, wherein he stated yesterday, I believe, that there were no 
so-called tie-in sales to the newsdealers. 

That I dispute and contradict and state that there are definitely 
tie-in sales to the newsdealers of this city. By tie-in sales I mean that 
the newsdealer has no choice. These magazines are foisted and thrust 
upon him. They come in a package with standard magazines, the so- 
called everyday reputable type of magazines. 

They come in 1 package, in 1 bundle, tied together either with wire 
or rope, so securely that the newsdealer cannot in any manner or in 
any form inspect these magazines. 

The Chairman. You mean, sir, with such publications as Collier's, 
Saturday Evening Post? 

Mr. RicHTER. Yes, sir ; Life, Vogue, House and Garden. They come 
in one package. They are thrown at him and in turn he is thrown a bill. 

When I say thrown, I say literally thrown. He is given a bill, and 
incidentally, these magazines have not been previously ordered. These 
are the choices of the distributors. 

The newsdealer cannot sit down as any ordinary merchant and pick 
his merchandise. There is no list presented to him of magazines 
which he may choose and which he may reject. He takes what is 
given to him. 

As I say, it all comes on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. 

The Chairman. Does this situation which you describe apply to 
all newsdealers ? 

Mr. RiCHTER. Yes, sir; throughout greater New York, both the 
licensed newsdealers and the storekeepers. I say the licensed news- 
dealers nvimber about 2,000, licensed by the city of New York, That is 
the type of dealer on the street corner, at subway stations, and so 

The Chairman. That condition must exist in other large cities, 

Mr. RicHTER. I understand it is so. We do have contacts in other 
cities throughout the country. I understand it is prevalent through- 
out the country. The newsdealer does not select the magazines, and I 
speak for a great majority. 

I think if the newsdealers had a choice they would reject these 
so-called horror magazines. 

Senator Hennings. Why do you think they would? 

Mr. RiCHTER. I say I am quoting people that are out in the field. 
There is Mr. Ben Friedman in the hearing room with me today. He 
is a chairman of the board of the News Dealers Association. He him- 
self is a newsdealer. He is at Times Square, the cross-roads of the 

If you don't hear it in Times Square you won't hear it anywhere in 
the country. 

I also have Mr. Jay Kay, the secretary and treasurer. He is at the 
entrance to the George Washington Bridge. 

They have gone through the field. By the field I mean going 
through and visiting these newsdealers as part of their job as officers 
of the association. 


I know I have personally talked with many newsdealers and I 
Icnow if they had a choice they Avouldn't want to deal with this trash. 
Senator Hennings. I do not question your statement, but I was 
interested in their reasons. 

Mr. KiciiTER. The reasons are that they themselves have children ; 
they won't bring that trash and junk in their own homes, and I dare- 
say the publishers wouldn't do so. 

I won't mention names, but I know in particular one publisher has 
stated, that put out some of these horror magazines, that he himself 
does not bring it into his own home for his own children to read. I 
think that is argument enough as to how they feel about it. 

I have here a bill. As I say, they are not returnable. These news- 
dealers must accept this entire package. Of course, the newsdealer 
cannot in limited circumstances be a censor of these magazines, the 
good and the bad kind. 

I say in all fairness to the publishers and distributors not all comic 
magazines are bad. There are some good ones. I have some good 
ones here. 

I mean the Walt Disney type of comic books are good for children. 

I know that the newsdealers would be only too happy to sell that 
type of magazines. There are westerns that cannot be classified as 
bad, but I daresay that the majority of the comic books or magazines 
on the stand today are outright trash. 

I know that the newsdealers would not like to deal with them if 
they had a choice. 

Now, this is a bill given to the newsdealer and the Saturday Evening 
Post was brought with these other types of horror magazines. Now 
the choice to the newsdealer is either store them away or display them 
and sell them. 

Now, a newsdealer, particularly a city newsdealer, operates in lim- 
ited space. He has a news booth 6 by 5 by 3, 6 feet wide, 5 feet high, 
and 3 feet wide. If he stores things in his newsstand, he must 
necessarily stand on the outside in all kinds of weather and they are 
out in good weather, bad, night and day. They are little people. 
They deal in pennies. 

They cannot possibly sit down, they don't have the time or the in- 
clination or the judgment or the facilities to sit down and censor these 

The newsdealers cannot possibly censor these magazines. They are 
taken as they are brought to them. They are flooded with them ; they 
are swamped with them. 

In most cases, I daresay in all cases, they display and sell them. 

Now, this is April and magazines are coming out now for July. 
They are not returnable. 

Mr. Beaser. You said that if he does not sell them he has to pay 
for them. 

Mr. RicHTER. He pays for them before he returns them. He is 
billed for them and he pays for them. 

Mr. Beaser. If he does not sell them ? 

Mr. RicHTER. They are returnable, but they' are not returnable 
until outdated. The bill says no credit allowed for premature returns. 
If a magazine is dated July, he cannot receive them in April and 
return them the next day. He will hold them until July. 


I daresay that if he returns them they don't go back to the publisher, 
they go to another newsdealer. It is a roundrobin. It is a vicious 
circle. They are never returned to the publisher until all means of 
selling these magazines are exhausted. 

Mr. Beaser. You mentioned the Saturday Evening Post awhile 
ago. Would the number of Saturday Evening Posts he receives be 
cut in his next shipment ? 

Mr. RicHTER. Possibly, yes. He is under the threat of being cut. 

In other words, if he should return what the distributor may think 
is an unreasonable amount of magazines, he would be cut off com- 

Mr. Beaser. Have there been instances when that has happened? 

Mr. RicHTER. Yes. So the newsdealer takes the line of least resist- 
ance. He accepts them as he gets them and does what he can with 

Here is one magazine. The publisher appeared here yesterday, this 
Mr. Gaines, and how he could possibly sit here and justify his maga- 
zine is beyond comprehension. Have you gentlemen seen this thing 
called Panic? 

The Chairman. We have seen many of them. I do not recall seeing 
that one. 

Mr. RicHTER. This has a grotesque head. It is with apologies to 
Benjamin Franklin, incidentally. This fellow looks like Mr. Hyde 
of Jekyll and Hyde. This magazine to my mind is worse than one 
of the horror magazines. It is a demoralizing type of magazine. It 
satirizes, it ridicules the better comics. 

The Chairman. May the Chair see that, Mr. Richter? 

Mr. Richter. Yes, sir. 

Comic books like Joe Palooka and Li'l Abner are ridiculed. 

Senator Hennings. Li'l Abner himself ridiculed Dick Tracy, did 
he not? 

Mr. Richter. Yes, but this is done in not a critical manner, but 
in a gruesome manner, in a vicious manner. 

You will note in this magazine beyond the middle cover what they 
call Pan Mail. This magazine was banned in Boston and Mr. Gaines 
as the publisher seems to delight in that fact. He says, "Panic is a 
success. It has been banned in Boston." 

Then he goes on to quote from the newspaper reports of that city. 
He says : 

And what were we banned for? Horror? No. Sex? No. We 
were banned for lampoonino; the poem The Night Before Christmas. 

Panic in the words of the Massachusetts attorney general, Finegold. 
depicts The Night Before Christmas in a pagan manner. That was 
taken from the Springfield Daily News editorial of December 23 and 
also quotes the Massachusetts attorney general, Finegold, threatened 
criminal proceedings last week against Gaines unless the comic book 
Panic containing the satire of the poem was withdrawn voluntarily. 

He says his original intention was to defend that, but he says — 
when I say "he," Gaines, the publisher, the best way for him to do this 
is to quote from letters received from people to the magazine. 

It does not identify who those people are, whether they be children, 
teen-agers, or grownups. 


But let me, if I may, read to you two of the excerpts of letters that 
lie publishes as justifying this type of demoralizing magazine. This 
is an excerpt of a letter : 

.7u«t finished Panic. Great magazine. And I think you should be boiled in 
oil, stretched on a stretch rack, whipped with a cat-o'-nine-tails, shot, knifed, 
and hanged, gassed, electrocuted, and buried alive for holding a great maga- 
zine like Panic from the public for a full year. Man it is a great comic, crazy, 
cool, and real dappy. This magazine will go hotter than hotcakes. When I got 
to the stand I bought the last one. 

It was signed by someone from New York. 
Here is another : 

Have just finished reading the first issue of Panic. Really great. The best 
story was My Gun Is the Jury. As I was reading it, my mother came in and 
told me to put the book away. This got me mad. So I did it. I sawed the 
nose off an .88 and fired low, a little below the bellybutton. It went in clean 
and came out like a flying saucer, leaving a hole big enough to put my fist 
through, and without further interruption I finished the magazine. 

Now, how any man can come here and publish rot like this and 
justify it is beyond comprehension. 

Now, upon its face it may appear innocent. Can this poor little 
fellow on the street corner — I took it home the first time last night to 
read it. It appears innocent enough on the cover except for this 
grotesque figure of Benjamin Franklin. 

But when I thumbed through it I saw what was confronting us. 
A newsdealer cannot possibly do this. So he just displays it and 
sells it. 

Many times if the child a])pears to be of tender years the newsdealer 
will not sell him any horror magazine. He will say, "You had better 
come with your parents." Oftentimes parents come and oftentimes 
])arents buy the magazine and oftentimes they would rather see the 
cliildren buy a Walt Disney or other such type of animated cartoons 
or magazine. 

Mr. Hannoch. Would you refer me to the place where he apologized 
to Benjamin Franklin ? 

Mr. KiGHTER. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Hannocii. I have it. 

Mr. RicHTER. Do you have it now ? 

Ml'. Hannocii. I have it. 

Mr. RiCHTER. I might also say this as to the advertisement on the 
])ack of this magazine. I will find the same advertisement in a better- 
type comic book which is not olfensive. Here is an advertisement on 
the back of this magazine soliciting children, boys an'd girls, and men 
and women, to buy certain religious wall mottoes for which they will 
receive i)rizes and money. It says here, "The world is on fire. Serve 
the Lord and you can have these prizes," giving these children the idea 
that by selling these religious wall mottoes they would be serving the 

Now in the better-type magazine the serving the Lord had been 

Mr. PIannocii. They would get an ax, a knife, it says here. 

Mr. RiciiTER. Yes. You can see there is a clenched fist going down. 

And by doing that they will be helping to stamp out crime, graft, 
dope, war, and drink. 

49G32— 54 — —13 


We as an association have caused to be introduced a bill in the city 
council a copy of which I should like to show you, the purpose being to- 
do away with many abuses of the newsdealers. Included in the bill 
is a provision that the publishers and distributors shall not distribute 
or sell to any licensed newsdealer, any publication that is lewd or in- 
decent or any such publication that the city license commission or 
license department considers lewd or indecent or considers improper 
or unlawful for display or resale to the public. 

We hope if this bill is passed it may serve its purpose. 

Mr. Hannoch. Do you think so, as a lawyer ? 

This is not lewd or indecent in the statutory sense, is it ? 

Mr. KiCHTER. It may be considered improper. I was going to men- 
tion that it is too vague. There are no standards and there are no 
guides and I, as an attorney, cannot define to you what is lewd, obscene, 
and indecent. Our courts have differed. Our Supreme Court, as you 
may know, has upset section 1141 of the penal law which would have- 
been a weapon to combat this. 

I don't criticize the Court. I daresay that the law wasn't written 
properly. They should have guides and standards so that a layman — 
not a court or judge, but a layman — should be able to understand what 
is indecent and what is lewd and what is improper and what is offen- 
sive, so that a newsdealer himself could know. 

I should not have to go around interpreting for these newsdealers. 
I think they should be able to see for themselves what is bad. 

Our license commissioner for the city of New York has been trying 
to do a laudable job, but even his hands are tied. The courts are con- 
fused, the law is confused. 

To my mind I think the solution to this entire problem perhaps 
would be a properly worded, properly coded, properly standardized 
Federal legislation with censorship of distribution. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Richter, where does this pressure come from? 
You said Federal legislation. Is it the local wholesaler who is bund- 
ling these up and sending them in? 

Mr. Richter. The distributor. The newsdealer has no contact with 
the publisher as such. His contact is with the distributor like Man- 
hattan News, American News. He has no contact with the publishers. 
He takes what he does from the distributor. 

You call them wholesalers. The wholesalers operate through dis- 

Senator Hennings. You are aware, of course, as an able lawyer, as 
to the difficulty of drafting such a statute? 

Mr. Richter. I most assuredly am, sir. 

Senator Hennings. If you as an expert in this field have any sug- 
gestions and would care to submit a draft to the subcommittee, I am 
sure we would be glad to have it. 

Mr. Richter. I think you have felt the pulse when you said there are 
no standards, no guides, no proper definitions of what is lewd or 

Mr. Hannoch. Give some thought as to whether these impair the 
morals of children. 

Mr. Richter. I cannot say. I am not an expert in that field. It 
would seem to me that it is a logical sequence that would follow from, 
reading stuff of that kind. 


I wouldn't allow it in my house. Fortunately my child is not of 
sufficient age to read, but when he can read he won't want trash of this 
kind, I can assure this committee of that. 

Now, they are not all bad. We have all these horror things. You 
have seen some of these love comic books. To my mind, they are as 
bad as the horror books. Children buy them. 

As I say, newsdealers have their magazines set up on a magazine 
rack. They cannot oversee them. They are not an ordinary store- 
keeper. The children come and buy them ; they pay him, and off they 
go. He cannot censor it and he has no choice in what he can sell. 

They would love to cooperate. As I said before, I think the fault 
lies with the publisher, lies with the distributor, and not the poor news- 
dealer who is at the tail end of this line, so to speak. 

The Chairman. Mr. Richter, did you tell the subcommittee how 
many members you have? I have forgotten whether you did or not. 

Mr. Richter. Yes, sir ; we have a fluctuating membership of over a 
thousand. We also have an affiliate association representing store- 
keepers throughout Long Island, the Long Island Stationery Owners 
Association. They pay monthly dues. The dues are nominal, $2 a 
month. . 

So it is not a money-making association by any means. It is an 
association of newsdealers banded together to aid each other and to 
serve the public. That is their motto. That they attempt to do. 

The CiiAiRMAisr. For the privilege of membership they pay $24 a 
year ? 

Mr. Richter. That is right. 

The Chairman. Per dealer? 

Mr. Richter. That is right, sir. 

The Chaieman. Thank you very much, Mr. Richter. You have 
been very helpful. 

Mr. Richter. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Alex Segal. 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you will 
give before this subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary of 
the United States Senate, will be the truth, the whole truth, and noth- 
ing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Segal. I do. 


The Chairman. Will you state your full name, address, and associa- 
tion, for the record ? 

Mr. Segal. Alex Segal, 113 West 67th Street, New York City, part- 
ner, Stravon Publications. 

The Chairman. Mr. Segal, you will have to speak up because the 
acoustics are not all that they should be in a courtroom of this char- 

Mr. Segal. Well, I don't publish comic books, so I have no prepared 
statement. But we are in the process of publishing a book on juvenile 
delinquency by a person that I consider probably one of the most out- 
standing authorities on juvenile delinquency, since he lived 5 years 
with boys' gangs here in New York and wrote a book which the Read- 


er's Digest digested. He lived with them and they accepted him, al- 
though he is the son of a distinguished university professor. 

Mr. l^EASER. The reason you were asked to come here today was not 
because you published comic books, but because you are a publisher 
and you do advertise in comic books. 

Mr. Segal. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. What kind of material do you publish and under what 
names ? 

Mr. Segal. Only one name, Stravon. 

Here is a children's book that we publish. We do advertise it in 
the comics. It is Birdman. It is the story of Leonardo da Vinci. 

In view of the discussion that went on regarding comics, it is in- 
teresting to note some of the remarks made that the children do not 
buy the better-grade comics, because here is an example of a very 
high-grade children's book on Da Vinci, in beautiful color, which we 
have advertised in the comics, and they have not responded to it in 
the manner you think. Now tliis is just one. 

Mr. Beaser. What are the other publications ? 

Mr. Segal. I will show you all of them. 

Here is a book called Mike and the Giant, the story of Michelangelo. 

Mr. Beaser. Children's and adults' books ? 

Mr. Segal. No, these are children's books. 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Segal, I notice in the first book you had 
that there are a number of reproductions of Leonardo's works. 

Mr. Segal. Yes. 

Senator Hennings. Now what does that book sell for ? 

Mr. Segal. This book sells for a dollar. We advertise it. We 
selected tlie name of "The Birdman" because Leonardo was known 
as a birdman at the time and this is a drawing, a drawing of his 
flying machine. Tliat is after his own sketch. We deliberately 
selected it, hoping tluit the children Avho buy "The Batman" and 
buy the others would buy this. They do buy it in quantities of a 
few thousand a year, not 20 million a year. 

Senator Hennings. You suggested in the advertising I presume 
that that was educational ? 

Mr. Segal. Yes, we did. We said they would enjoy it. 

Now we have different kinds of ads on tliis book. I will go through 
all of the titles. Here is a title Mike and the Giant, the story of 
INIichelangelo. Here is the story of the man who painted the sun, 
which is a children's story of Vincent van Gogh. 

Here is a book. The Magic Painter, the story of Rembrandt. These 
are all for children between the ages of 8 and 14. 

If I may, I should like to divert, before continuing to show all the 
other books. Here is an issue of the Library Journal. This is out 
just now, 2 days ago. You will notice an advertisement of Dr. 
Wertham's book, and I take no exception to the book as I did not read 
it, but in view of many things said here, it is interesting how the 
publisher or somebody selected that title, "The Seduction of the 
Innocent." Half the people will buy this book not because they 
think it is an expose of comics. I don't know what they will buy it 

Senator Hennings. You do not, Mr. Segal ? 

Mr. Segal. Mind you, I am not taking sides in this issue; really, 
I am not. 


By the way, in the same issue is an ad which was phiced 2 months 
ago. There was an ad here for these four books, which is addressed 
to libraries. There it is right here. 

On these four books, may I have permission to quote from the 
Washington Post : 

Imagination and humor liave been graphically employed. The books have high 
style, striking use of color and unconventional layout, and enhance the texts 
written in lively conversational fashion. 

The Library Journal : 

Ethic biography planned to entertain with clever design, thrilling narrative, 
and colorful .sketches. 

Mr. Beaser. For adults you also publish things called Mademoiselle 

Mr. Segal. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, you have the Sexcapacles, the Home 
Life of Homo Sapiens, in addition to. How To Hypnotize, which you 
advertise in comics like this; is that correct? 

Mr. Segal. That is correct. Here is the book. I would like to 
hold up the book so you can see what the book is like. This is a book 
on hypnotism by a practicing hypnotist who unfortunately last year 
died. Anyone who applies himself, and this is stage hypnotism; 
anybody wdio applies himself to this book will master the technique 
of hypnotism in a short time. Many have used this book to get into 
the entertainment field. 

We even have testimonials from people who use it. Hypnotism 
has been used in various auditoriums, hospitals, to entertain. 

I am not discussing the therapeutic value, because we have a book 
on four professionals on hypnotism, too. 

Mr. Beaser. You also sell the advertise gadgets like airplanes for 

Mr. Segal. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. You do advertise in comics and you get a response, I 
presume ? 

Mr. Segal. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. You send out also some mail orders, some direct solici- 
tations by mail ? 

Mr. Segal. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. Is this an example of the kind of advertising literature 
which you would be sending out. I am referring to a six-page 

Mr. Segal. May I make a correction ? 

Mr. Beaser. Yes. 

Mr. Segal. There is a front page missing. The front and back 
pages are missing there, which list the title of all the books on there, 
and on the book there is an order form on the back of it. In other 
words, there are two pages missing. Apparently, you do not have 
the complete folder there. The first page lists all the books that are 
in that catalog. On the second page is an advertisement for this 
particular book, which, by the way, is considered the finest book on 
cartooning, I think, in America today. I would like you to see the 
type of book this is. 

Mr. Beaser. But this six-page pamphlet you have lists all the books 
you have for children ? 


Mr. Segal. No, it does not. 

Mr. Beaser. The one that is complete would list books for children 
and books for adults ? 

Mr. Segal. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. It has your books for children and juveniles in it? 

Mr. Segal. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. I would like to introduce that. 

Senator Hennings. That will become part of the record at tliis 
point. Let it be exhibit No. 24. 

( The document referred to was marked, Exhibit No. 24," and is on 
file with the subcommittee. ) 

Mr. Segal. That does not go to children. It goes to adults. 

Mr. Beaser. When you get your response to advertisements such as 
this, and your Birdman and comic books, do you utilize the names 
you receive that way for direct mail advertising of your total books? 

Mr. Segal. As of some time last year — that is perhaps early last 
year, we discontinued the renting of names to anybody on our books, 
regardless on what subject it is, and we have no longer rented those 
books for any type of publications. 

Mr. Beaser. Those names. 

Mr. Segal. Those names, for any type of publication or product 
that is at all objectionable. 

Mr. Beaser. Theretofore, you did rent them ? 

Mr. Segal. Heretofore we were not as discerning, or not as alert 
to check tlie type of mailing of books on this list. But as of March 
of 1953, I think, we discontinued as such. If we do rent a name, it 
may be for subscription to Life or Time. There are not many rentals 
of that kind. We ourselves do not mail to our own juveniles the 
names of any products ; we do not mail to them. 

Mr. Beaser. Theretofore, you rented to persons who, you say, sent ' 
out objectionable material? 

Mr. Segal. I didn't say that. I say in the province of this com- 
mittee, it might be considered controversial in the sense that — is this 
good stuff, or is it bad stuff? I don't say we did, but I say we dis- 
continued any rental. We ourselves never did. 

Mr. Beaser. What kind of material was it ? 

Mr. Segal. I don't know. It may have been a book — a sex book for 
another company who rented our list. This is about the only type of 

Mr. Beaser. That list would have been secured through a comic 
book; is that it? 

Mr. Segal. That is right. Our comic books we did not rent. I 
am talking about the general list. These names are on stencils. 
There are metal stencils which are held in a letter shop. We rented 
some names to a company, I think it was on a book, and accidentally 
the letter shop — these are in trays, there are 400 names in a tray — 
accidentally one of the letter-shop employees picked a tray of 400 
children and they must have gotten some kind — I don't recall, it must 
have been a sex book, an honest to goodness — nothing objectionable 
per se in the book itself. They may have gotten it, and we got some 
inquiries about it, and we decided we would no longer rent these names 
to anybody, mistake or mistake. The revenue is very small. The 
total annual revenue may come to $2,000 or $3,000. It is an insig- 
nificant revenue. 


Mr. Beaser. Whom have you rented it to the last year ? 

Mr. Segal. As I told you, I don't think I rented it to anybody. If 
we did rent it — I don't want to be held, because I didn't anticipate 
this type of questioning — but I don't think we rened it to anybody. 
We may have. If we did, it was someone without question of material. 

Senator Hennings. How is that list compiled ? 

Mr. Segal. If you notice on the coupon, they send the coupon in, 
and that is the list. There are four pages missing in that folder ; the 
front page which says a complete list of books, and on the second page 
is an ad for this book. On the next to the last page is another list, 
which is a coupon list. On the back is an address, and I think there is 
an advertising message. The second page is an ad for this book. The 
front page only lists the book, no advertising. On the back page is an 
advertising message and a report of the address. Apparently, you 
did not get the full booklet there. I can send one. 

The Chairman. If you had rented it, there would have been nothing 
illegal about that; would there? 

Mr. Segal. No, sir. 

The Chairman. This material was all yours? 

Mr. Segal. Yes ; it is all our material. But, if a child accidentally 
gets a circular for a book describing a sex book or manual, and the 
parents see it, tlie parents become annoyed and complain about it. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you received any complaints? 

Mr. Segal. We have received no complaints in the last year. We 
didn't get the complaint directly. The publisher, or whoever it was, 
got the complaint and forwarded the names to us, "Please remove 
these names from your list, because we got a complaint about the re- 
ceipt of this circular." 

Mr. Beaser. It was your own circular? 

Mr. Segal. No. When the person on the list received the circular, 
and the parent complained — there were only a handful — they com- 
plained to the advertiser who bought the list. So, the advertiser, in 
turn, said "these people do not want to receive literature of any kind, 
and they have instructed us to remove the name from the list." So 
we removed it, and since it gave us this nuisance, we said, "no more ; 
we are discontinuing this," and we have no longer rented these names 
to anybody. 

Mr. Beaser. Your coupon, here, does not indicate that the person 
who is buying the book must state the name ; does it ? The name need 
not be stated on the coupon ? There is no room for the person buying 
one of your books such as "The Art of Love." 

Mr. Segal. What name? His name? 

Mr. Beaser. He does not have to state his age. 

Mr. Segal. I think in this one it may not be. I am not sure. But 
we don't send that to adults. I think, at one time, on one book — a 
drawing instruction book — we used to carry on it, "Not sent to anyone 
over '21." 

We hardly ever advertise this book any more. 

Senator Hennings. Not sent to anyone over 21 ? 

Mr. Segal. No ; under 21 ; I am sorry. 

Mr. Beaser. You do not use your mailing lists compiled from comic 
book advertisements for sending this outf 

Mr. Segal. No. 


Mr. Beasek. Then how do you account for the number of comphiints 
to the Post Office Department from irate parents that their children, 
15 years, 10 years, 9 years of age, have received your circular advertis- 
ing your books? 

Mr. Segal. Which circular? 

Mr. Beaser. a circular from you, advertising "The Art of Love," 
for example. 

Mr. Segal. We don't send these to children. 

Mr. Beaser. How did the child's name get on the mailing list ? 

Mr. Segal. The child's name originally gets on a mailing list when 
they fill out the coupon, but we don't mail circulars to those children. 
They become inactive. We neither sell it nor rent it, nor use it our- 

Now it is possible, as I said, that occasionally a tray, like a year 
ago, will get mixed up; but we are not mailing to children at all of 
any kind even though we have the best children's books in the field. 
I say that, barring none, there is nothing that has ever been published 
of nature for children — even the titles here were selected with a view to 
getting the child interested in this type of subject. We w^ere going to 
put out a whole list of these, by the way, but in view of the fact that the 
response has not been as great as we thought, we stopped at these 
four titles. 

Mr. Beaser. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Hannoch. As to this one book that I have here, "The Art of 
Love," the cover refers to some article, "What Every Boy and Girl 

Mr. Segal. That is not our book, sir. 

The Chair]\ean. It is published in London. 

Mr. Beaser. It is advertised by you, though, is it not ? 

Mr. Segal. We don't have that. We don't advertise it for children. 
The majority of the places that book is advertised is in adult books, 
like women's romance books and male adult books. 

By the way, thai particular book, but not that particular issue, was 
given out as a premium about a year ago by a large soap company. 
It was given out as a premium with a certain purchase. Apparently 
it was not considered objectionable enough, because nirie-tenths or 
eight-tenths of that book is Greek mythology, and certainly no juvenile 
delinquent could ever conceivably delve through that Greek myth- 
ology, to come to the 10 or 15 percent love counsel, that is given in 
that book. 

By the way, talking of comics, Mr. Chambers has found in 5 years 
of work, that the gang boys do not read comics at all. He lived with 
them day to day, and he found they do not read the comics at all. 
There is a statement here which is so different from the usual con- 
ception, because very few people really know anything about juvenile 
delinquents. They know from reading other books. He lived with 
them for 5 years, and he says they never read the comics — the gang 
boys. Actually at one time he had to engage — go in with them on 
some of their, let us say, semiquestionable activities in order to main- 
tain their confidence, because he was making a study of juvenile 

Mr. Hannoch. We were talking about your ad. How do you know, 
when you get an answer back on one of these coupons, whether it is 
a child or is not a child ? 


Mr. Segal. xVll answers received from comics are automatically 
considered children. First of all, that book on hypnotism 

Mr. Hanxoch. I did not ask you about it. I asked you how you 
knew wliether it was a child. 

Mr. Segal. Any coupon coming from a comic is automatically con- 
sidered a child, and we do not mail to it. 

Mr. Hannoch. It is put on a different list? 

Mr. Segal. Yes. 

The Chairman. Are there any further questions ? If not, Mr. Segal, 
the Chair thanks you very much. You have been very helpful. 

Mr. Segal. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Samuel Roth. 

The Chairman. Do you swear that the evidence you are about to 
give before this subcommittee wHll be the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Roth. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. You may be seated. Please state your full name, 
address, and association for the record. 


Mr. Roth. My name is Samuel Roth. I live at 11 West 85th Street. 

Mr. Beaser. AVhat is tlie business you are engaged in ? 

Mr. Roth. The business is publishing books and magazines and 
selling them. 

Mr. Beaser. Under what names do you publish ? 

Mr. Roth. Would you foi-give me if I have an important question to 
ask the Chairman ? It is very important. 

Mr. Chairman, I am at present accused in Xew York County of a 
violation of section 1141 of the penal law, relating to alleged obscene 
publications, and of section 580 of the penal law, relating to conspiracy 
to effect such a violation. I deny guilt and contest the validity of the 
process there. 

In view of this fact I feel that to answer the questions now to be 
put by your committee may place me in a position where, contrary to 
my constitutional guaranties, I may be forced to accuse myself or 
provide evidence by which I may be accused. 

In view of that I must invoke my constitutional rights, protecting 
me against being made to accuse myself, and decline to answer. 

I add that I do so with profound respect for the committee, and that 
I will comply with any competent order to testify if it is found I am 
under law obliged to "do so, and in doing so, am afforded immunity 
jn-ovided in section 8486 of title 18 of the United States Code. 

The Chairman. Do you invoke the fifth amendment of the Consti- 
tution ? 

Mr. Roth. I don't like the sound of the fifth amendment. 

The Chairman. You invoke your constitutional rights ? 

Mr. Roth. Yes. 

The Chairman. I want to ask the witness a question. First, did you 
say that you were presently under indictment ? 

Mr. Roth. No. I haven't been charged, but I am a prisoner of New 
York County. 

The Chairman. Senator Hennincfs. 


Senator Hennings. I wanted to ask counsel, Mr. Chairman, what 
counsel had expected to prove or establish by the testimony of this 

Mr. Beaser. I had hoped to ask Mr. Roth the names of his firms, 
and receive a reply from him that he was doing business under the 
Gargantuan Books, the Centurion Press, Gargoyle Books, Book Gems, 
Falldock Books, and Paragon Books, samples of which we have given 
you, Senator, and to indicate that Mr. Roth does a very, very extensive 
mail-order business, solicits through the mails for orders for his books, 
and advertises these books in a very suggestive manner. 

Senator Hennings. May I ask if counsel's statement is predicated 
upon an investigation made by the staff for this committee ? 

Mr. Beaser. Senator, the counsel's statement is predicated upon an 
investigation made by the staff and by counsel. 

The Chairman. By counsel personally ? 

Mr. Beaser. Personally, or shall I say associate counsel. 

We would hope to say that since adolescence represents an age, as 
the psychiatrists say, during which a youngster's normal sexual curi- 
osity reaches a high point, that Mr. Roth's natural bent, as far as 
advertising is concerned, would lie in the juvenile trade ; and that we 
have, with the assistance of the Post Office Department, gone through 
a representative sample of complaints received from irate parents of 
children getting Mr. Roth's materials and advertisements, which I am 
careful to cover up ; and we were going to ask Mr. Roth to give us the 
sources of his mailing list, and to ask Mr. Roth whether, and from 
whom, he has purchased or rented mailing lists, and whether he has 
purchased or rented mailing lists in the past year from any person 
who, directly or indirectly, advertised in a comic book, or from a comic- 
book publisher himself. 

The Chairman. Do you care to give the answer to that question, Mr. 

Mr. Roth. I will be very happy to do so if I am granted the immun- 
ity I ask for. 

The Chairman. This committee has no power to grant you immun- 
ity. You have every right to ask this committee to protect your 
constitutional rights. 

Mr. Roth. Wliat I read to you was not a statement of mine. It was 
a statement made by my attorney, who is not present. I feel that the 
only way I can put this to you is to ask you whether what is requested 
in my attorney's statement is being granted me. You would know 
that better than I. 

The Chairman. I think in view of the situation that has developed 
here and the serious nature of the questions that have been posed, the 
subcommittee should take your case under advisement and consider 
all the factors involved, particularly the fact of your recent arrest, 
and call on A'OU at another time. 

Mr. Roth. Thank you. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Chairman, the witness is under subpena. It might 
be advisable, until the subcommittee has decided what it is going to do, 
that he be kept under that same subpena. 

The Chairman. Without objection, that will be the order of the 

Mr. Roth. Thank you, sir. I shall consider myself on call. 

Mr. Beaser. Mrs. Helen Meyer. 


Do you mind being sworn ? Do you swear that tlie evidence you are 
about to give before this subcommittee will be the truth, the whole 
truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mrs. Meyer. I do. 

The Chairman. Thank you, Mrs. Meyer. Do you have someone 
who is going to assist you ? 

Mrs. Meyer. Mr. Matthew Murphy, the editor of Dell Publications. 

The Chairman. Will you be giving evidence or will you be assist- 
ing Mrs. Meyer ? 

Mrs. Meyer. I don't know whether I will need him. 

The Chairman. We will swear you anyway. 

Do you swear that the evidence you are about to give before this 
subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and notliing but the 
truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Murphy. I do. 

The Chairman. Will you both state your home addresses and your 
associations, with whom you are engaged, or by whom you are engaged? 


Mrs. Meyer. Mrs. Helen Meyer, 231 Montrose Avenue, South 
Orange, N. J. I am vice president of the Dell Publishing Co. 

Mr. Murphy. My name is Matthew Murphy, of 294 Bronxville 
Eoad, Bronxville, N. Y. I am employed by Western Printing & 
Lithographic Co., as Dell comics editor. 

The Chairman. You may proceed. 

Mrs. Meyer. Although we are not here to defend crime and horror 
comics, the picture is not as black as Dr. Wertham painted it. We 
must give our American children proper credit for their good taste in 
their support of good comics. What better evidence can we give than 
facts and figures. Here they are : 

Dell's average comic sale is 800,000 copies per issue. Most crime and 
horror comic sales are under 250,000 copies. 

Of the first 25 largest selling magazines on newsstands — this includes 
Ladies Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post, Life, and so forth — 11 
titles are Dell comics, with Walt Disney's Donald Duck the leading 
newsstand seller. Some of these titles are: "Walt Disney's Comics"; 
"Warner Bros. Bugs Bunny" ; "Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse" ; "War- 
ner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, Porky Pigs"; "Walter 
Lantz Woody Woodpecker" ; "Margie's Little Lulu" ; "Mom's Tom and 

The newsstand sales range from 950,000 to 1,996,570 on each of the 
above-mentioned titles. I mean newsstands only, and I am not in- 
cluding any subscriptions, and we have hundrecls of thousands of 

With the least amount of titles, or 15 percent of all titles published 
by the entire industry, Dell can account for a sale of approximately 32 
percent, and we don't publish a crime or horror comic. 

Dr. Wertham, for some strange reason, is intent on condemning the 
entire industry. He refuses to acknowledge that other types of comics 
are not only published, but are better supported by children than 
crime and horror comics. I hope that his motivation is not a selfish 


one in his crusade against comics. Yet, in the extensive research he 
tells us he has made on comics, why does he ignore the good comics? 
Dell isn't alone in publishing good comics. There are numerous out- 
standing titles published by other publishers, such as Blondie, Archie, 
Dennis the Menace, and so forth. Why does he feel that he must con- 
demn the entire industry ? Could it be that he feels he has a better case 
against comics by recognizing the bad and ignoring the good ? 

Dr. Wertham, I am sure, has a fine reputation as a psychiatrist, but 
shouldn't the committee hear from other psychiatrists of equal stature ? 
Of all the illustrations presented by Dr. Wertham yesterday, taken 
from crime and horror comics, needless to say, Dell was nonexistent, 
but I do take offense to his reading into the record an isolated story 
that the claims appeared in Tarzan comics. I should like more specific 
information on this particular story, and when this issue was pub- 
Ished. Dr. Wertham has a great habit of using material from comic 
magazines that were published several years ago, and no longer being 
published, to help his case against the comics. 

Dr. Wertham must have done some extensive examining of the 90 
titles published by the Dell Publishing Co., as he went out of his way 
to point up the one story he didn't like in an isolated issue of Tarzan 
comics, probably published several years ago. Wasn't it unfair and 
destructive, rather than constructive, to read his condemnation of Dell 
Publishing Co.'s comics into the record ? Shouldn't the good be given 
proper recognition, if for no other reason than to set the example? 

With regard to Dell's refusal to belong to the Comic Book Associa- 
tion, Dell had no other alternative. When the association Avas first 
introduced, we, after thorough examination, saw that Dell would be 
used as an umbrella for the crime comic publishers. Dell, along with 
these publishers, would display the same seal. How could the news- 
dealer afford the time to examine the contents of each comic he 
handled ? The parents and children too would suffer from misrepre- 
sentation. Dell didn't need a code set down by an association, with 
regard to its practices of jiood taste. We weren't interested in trying 
to go up to the marginal line in our comic-book operation, as we knew 
we were appealing, in the main, to children. We have no regrets. In 
addition to the good feeling we have created among our loyal follow- 
ing, we have profited financially. So you don't have to ])ublish crime 
and horror comics for financial success. To the contrai'v, Dell's policy 
of publishing good comics has served as well. 

Mr. Caniff and Mr. Kelly have told you how the syndicate editor 
as well as each newspaper editor are their censors. Dell has their 
censors too. World renowned citizens like Walt Disney, Walter Lantz, 
Mr. Fred Quimby, of MGM, Edward Selzer, of Warner Bros., Marge's 
creator of Little Lulu, and many, manv others, wouldn't for any pos- 
sible financial gains, allow us to publish their creations if we used 
their characters badly. 

The Chairman. Thank you for that statement, Mrs. Meyer. 

Does counsel have any questions? 

Mrs. Meyer. May we show you some of our comics ? 

The Chairman. Do you have some to leave for the files? 

Mrs. Meyer. For one thing, we try to do something, too, on the 
question of horror. We have taken two full-page colored ads in 
the Saturday Evening Post. 

The Chairman. I am sure you are interested in eliminating horror 
comics, are you not ? 


Mrs. Meyer. We certainly are. And we would love to help you 
do it. 

Here is an editorial by Dr. Polling. 

Mr. Beaser. Will you please leave those with us ? 

Mrs. Meyer. Yes. 

The Chairman. Mrs. Meyer is leaving this material for the files, 
as the Chair understands it. Let that be exhibit No. 25. 

(The material was marked "Exhibit No. 25," and is on file with the 

Mrs. Meyt:r. Would you like to see the dramatic story of the largest 
selling magazines in the world, as compared to any other publishers ? 

The Chairman. We will receive those for the record, Mrs. Meyer. 

Mrs. Meyt:r. I refer to this list showing the newsstand sales of all 
the leading magazines. 

Mr. Murphy. May I say, sir, that our primary purpose in appear- 
ing before the committee is to show" that by publishing good comics, 
w^e not only outsell all other publishers of comics of all kinds, but 
that we have parental acceptance, which is indicated by subscriptions 
which run over a million a year, which are a dollar apiece. That is, 
many dollars a year in subscriptions, and the Dell policy is to pub- 
lish good comics, Dell comics are good comics. 

As an editor I handle approximately a third of these comics. I can 
say that we publish what we believe to be good comics and not what 
we know may be doubtful comics. 

Mrs. Meyer. If there is any question of doubt I do not want it. 

Senator Hennings. I was just going to ask the question which your 
statement embraced. If I may ask you one other thing, Do you feel 
that the competition, if such it be, from the horrors and the crime 
comics, to any great extent affects your business ? 

Mrs. Meyer. No. In fact, from time to time we run into periods 
where we have 100 men out on the road representing us, who would 
write us and tell us, this love comic is selling and this other one, and 
why don't we get into it. We just ignore the field. 

Senator Hennings. You do not feel it is competition ? 

Mrs. Meyer. We don't. 

Senator Hennings. It is a different field in a sense ? 

Mrs. Meyer. It certainly is, and I don't think it is profitable. All 
these people do is put them out and they have to take them back 
in again. I think all they do is earn a salary and help the paper man 
and the printer. 

Mr. Hannoch. Wliat did you say your monthly sales were ? 

Mrs. Meyer. We print approximately 30 million comics a month. 
We sell over 25 million. 

Mr. Hannoch. These are the ones that sell for 10 cents ? 

Mrs. Meyer. For 10 cents, and we have some 25-cent ones, too. 

Mr. Hannoch. None of them have ads, do they ? 

Mrs. Meyer. We will only take ads in 10 monthly magazines. We 
will take only cover ads. We censor the ads. We take ads from Gen- 
eral Foods and Mars. We are running an ad for Mars chocolates. 
They are all national advertising. We won't take anything but na- 
tional advertising, no mail-order advertising whatsoever. 

Mr. Murphy. Most of our books appear without any advertising 
at all. This 25-cent issue has no advertisinc: in it. 


The Chairman. Would you agree with the Chair that we ought to 
look for some new definition of comics and what field is covered by the 
word "comics"? 

Mrs. Meyer. Yes, I do. In fact I felt that I should really be repre- 
sented here. First, we didn't even want to be classed with the crime 
and horror comics. Yet when we more or less did get into it, I felt 
we should be here to tell you our story. 

We abhor horror and crime comics. We would like to see them out 
of the picture because it taints us. 

Mr. Murphy. We would like to show, too, that although we publish 
a third of all the comics published, the horror and crime comics which 
Dr. Wertham yesterday said constituted a majority of the comics are 
really in a minority, and the percentage of them has to be very small 
because of the number that we publish alone, and we publish no war, 
no horror, no crime, no romance. 

Mrs. Meyer. We sell 3I/2 million of Walt Disney's Peter Pan 
comics. That is a wonderful document, isn't it, against crime comics ? 

Mr. Hannoch. Do you ever get complaints from grandfathers who 
get tired of reading these over and over again to their children ? 

Mrs. Meyer. We don't get any such complaints. I know when my 
children were young, I had to read my own comics to them, but of 
course it was wonderful then. Then I knew everything that was going 
on in each of our comics. 

The Chairman. Mrs. Meyer, this subcommittee is grateful to you 
for your appearance here today. You have been very helpful. 

Mrs. Meyer. Thank you. 

The Chairjian. Now in adjourning these New York hearings on 
crime and horror comics until further call of the chairman, I wish to 
state that the subject matter of these hearings will receive further 
careful study and consideration by the subcommittee. 

Certain questions such as tie-in sales, for example, represents one 
of the several which we will have to resolve. Without attempting at 
this point to draw any conclusions, I wish to again reassure all in- 
terests concerned, that the subcommittee is aware that the evaluation 
of the total situation, in relation to the production of comics of this 
type, is a complex one and one which involves many, many facts. 

I also wish to repeat that these hearings on horror and crime comics 
represents but one form of the mass media to which this subcom- 
mittee will give attention at a later date. We believe that the public 
has a right to the facts, the right to know what the effect of this and 
other media is upon children, to know who is setting the standards for 
the media, and how the industries concerned operate, in relation to the 
observance of any standards. 

The subcommittee would also like to thank the authorities here in 
New York who have made this room, and other facilities, freely avail- 
able to us. We also wish to express our appreciation for the interest 
shown and the cooperation given by the press, the radio, and the 

It has been a great privilege for us to be here in this great city of 
New York, trying to solve not only one of your problems but a problem 
which exists throughout the Nation. Thank you very much. 

The committee stands in recess, subject to the call of the Chair. 

(Whereupon, at 4 : 15 p. m., the committee was recessed, subject to 


(Comic Books) 

FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 1954 

United States Senate, 
Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary 

To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, 

New York, N. Y. 

The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to call, in room 110, 
United States Court House, New York, N. Y., Hon. Robert C. Hen- 
drickson, (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding. 

Present : Senators Hendrickson and Hennings. 

Also present : Herbert W. Beaser, chief counsel ; ^ Richard Clen- 
denen, staff director ; Peter N. Chumbris, assistant counsel-investiga- 
tor, and Ed Hart, subcommittee consultant. 

The Chairman. The hearing will come to order. 

Today's hearing is a continuation of our subcommittee's investiga- 
tion of that segment of the comic-book industry which deals with 
lascivious and lustful crime and horror material. The chairman 
wishes to reiterate what he said during our opening hearing on this 
subject on April 21, that we are not in the least concerned with about 
four-fifths of the output of the entire comic-book industry. We are 
attempting to find out to what extent questionable type comic books 
affect the mind of American youth. 

We began the hearings and have continued them in the spirit of ob- 
jective exploration. We are not out to get anyone. 

Again I must reiterate, we are not a subcommittee of bluenose cen- 
sors. We are not, and have never been, a senatorial investigatory 
body unmindful of the dignity of the United States Senate, or un- 
mindful of our obligation to investigate solely various facets of the 
problem of juvenile delinquency. We work in fields that we feel are 
pertinent to our subject. Only if we operate with common sense, 
decency, and a sincere interest in finding the answers to the complex- 
ities of the youth delinquency problems, can our subcommittee hope 
to make proper recommendations that will reverse the trend, or, at 
least, retard the rise in our disgraceful juvenile delinquency rate. 

The response to our earlier hearings into horror comic books has 
been extremely gratifying to the chairman and my subcommittee col- 
leagues, and to the staff members who have done a splendid job of pre- 
paratory work. 

1 Herbert Wilton Beaser succeeded Herbert J. Hannoch as chief counsel to the subcom- 
mittee on May 1, 1954. 



Our previous hearings dealt primarily with the publication of the 
comic books with which we were concerned. We heard from publish- 
ers, artists, psychologists, teachers, and public officials, many of whom 
have the same concern with these horror and crime comics that we 

Today we are going to look into the matter of selling and distribu- 
tion practices, and into certain proposals which have been advanced 
as helpful in combating the detrimental influence upon youth of cer- 
tain types of publications. 

Before we hear our first witness, I want to state that as a result of 
our 2-day New York hearing, there are several hopeful signs that the 
comic book industry as a whole has become concerned at the revela- 
tions brought out thus far. There are signs of movement within the 
industry in the direction of improving its total product. The respon- 
sibility resting upon the industry is very great. My colleagues and 
myself will watch with mounting interest every step in the right 
direction, which the industry takes, that will demonstrate its cog- 
nizance of its own responsibility to the parents and youth of our 

I wanted to say here that I regret that my colleagues today are 
engaged in other matters of great importance in respect to their 
senatorial duties and they cannot be with me. 

Now, it is my great pleasure to introduce to the television audience 
this morning a very distinguished son of New York, a member of the 
New York State joint legislative committee, which was designated to 
study the publication of crime comics. 

I don't know where they got the word comics. Assemblyman, but 
they certainly are not comics. It is a pleasure to have you here. It 
is a tribute to the subcommittee that we have your distinguished 

I will now turn you over to the counsel for the subcommittee who 
will demonstrate your knowledge of this subject with his own proven 

Mr. FiTZPATRiCK. Thank you, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Would you be sworn. Assemblyman ? 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you are 
about to give before this subcommittee of the Senate Committee on 
the Judiciary of the United States Senate, will be the truth, the whole 
truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God ? 


The Chairman. I would like to say before you begin that we have 
been swearing all witnesses as a matter of tradition with this 

Mr. Beaser. Will you state your full name, your home address, and 


Mr. FiTZPATRicK. James x\. Fitzpatrick, 88 Beekman Street, Platts- 
burg, N, Y. ; member of the New York State Legislature, assembly- 
man: chairman of the New York State Joint Legislative Committee 


To Investigate the Publication of Comics, and in private life, an 

Mr. Beasek. How long has the committee of which you are chair- 
man been in existence? 

Mr. FiTZPATRicK. Since 1949. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you made any findings as a result of your in- 
vestigations and hearings ? 

Mr. FiTzPATRiCK. We have. 

Mr. Beaser. What are your findings? 

Mr. Fitzpatrick. Well, sir, and. Senator Hendrickson, if I may be 
permitted to do so, I would like to make a statement first. 

The Chairman. You proceed in your own way. 

Mr. Fitzpatrick. I also w^ould like to ask that I be afforded slight 
latitude, in that I was unable to attend the previous hearings, and 
1 would like to place in the record a general summary of the work 
we have done in the State of New York and particularly, our 
findings and conclusions with respect thereto. 

May I say, as a member and chairman of this New York legislative 
committee, that I am not only delighted to have this opportunity to 
appear, but on behalf of my committee I should like to express our 
gratitude to you for the work you are doing, and to state how 
pleased we are that this subject is receiving the attention of the 
United States Congress, because we feel that it is one of the most 
serious subjects that now faces the people of this country. 

I first became interested in this subject in 1949 when I introduced 
regulatory legislation in the State of New York dealing with comic 

Shortly thereafter, and in the same year, the New York State 
joint legislative committee to study this subject was created. 

The Chairman. You understand. Assemblyman, that this subcom- 
mittee is not trying at all to invade the States or take away any au- 
thority of local government. We are trying to furnish some degree of 
leadership at the national level. 

Mr, Fitzpatrick. Yes, sir ; and I wish to make it quite clear that 
we are particularly delightecl because we feel that this problem is so 
large that it must be handled effectively on the Federal level, and 
that while we feel we can do something in the States, w^e are hopeful 
that there will be Federal legislation forthcoming as a result of your 

Now, we have concluded after making our studies that the studies 
have conclusively demonstrated that a substantial percentage of pub- 
lications, in the crime comic field and particularly in the pocket book 
and picture magazine field, which I understand you will get into at a 
later date, contain offensive material primarily concerned with crime, 
horror, sex, and lust, and that a constant reading of this type of 
material has been a direct and substantial factor in the sharp in- 
crease in juvenile crime and in the lowering of the whole general 
standards of morality of our youth. 

Our most recent report, the report of the New York State joint 
legislative committee, has been made available to your committee 
and I am very much pleased to say that, as a result of our efforts 
this year. Governor Dewey has signed into law^ three bills dealing 
with crime comics and with indecent publications. The bills are 

49632—54 — —14 


printed in the appendix to the report. The bills that have been signed 
include a tie-in-sales, a bill that you are very much interested in at the 
present time, as I understand it. 

We have tripled the existing penalty under our penal law for the 
sale of salacious material, and we have also written into our law a 
new authority for injunctive relief to be sought by mayors of cities and 
corporate counsels of cities, or by the chief legal officers of other units 
of government, that do not actually have corporate counsels because of 
their small size. 

Now, I should like, if I may, to submit a copy of this report in 
evidence at this time, and to request that it be included as a reference 
and incorporated as a part of my remarks and part of my testimony, 
by and on behalf of my committee, as chairman of the committee. 

The Chairman. It will be the order of the subcommittee that this 
report be made a part of the subcommittee's files. 

(The report referred to was submitted earlier by Mr. Richard 
Clendenen as "Exhibit No. 4c," and is on file with the subcommittee.) 

Mr. FiTzPATBicK. Thank you, sir. 

I should also like at this time to invite your attention. Senator, to 
the remarks made by the former chairman of this committee, As- 
semblyman Joseph Carline, who appeared before the Gathings com- 
mittee, and testified at quite some length during their hearings in 

I should like also to invite your attention to the fact that in this 
report we have included a summary, not only of our previous work 
and findings with respect to comic books, but with respect to pocket 
size picture books, and with respect to television, and I understand 
you are going to have some television hearings here tomorrow. 

I have read with great interest both the report of the Gathings 
committee and the proceedings of Senator Kefauver's committee 
studying crime in interstate commerce. 

I was particularly interested in a letter written to Senator Kefauver 
by J. Edgar Hoover in August of 1950, for in it he states that the basic 
cause of the high rate of juvenile crime is the lack of a sense of moral 
responsibility among youth. 

This seems to me to be the key to the whole problem now being 
studied by this committee, and I feel sure that you will conclude, 
beyond any question of doubt, that the horror and crime comic, the 
obscene pocket book and the so-called girlie magazine are among the 
principal factors helping to pervert, warp, undermine, and completely 
destroy all sense of responsibility, moral or otherwise, of today's 

This being the case, it would appear that the time has now come 
for all agencies of government, local. State, and Federal, to unite in 
a concerted effort to rid the newsstands of this country of the current 
torrent of filth in print. 

The Chairman. May I interrupt your prepared statement. 

Which of these two types of magazines or publications do you 
think have the most serious influence on our young people ^ 

Mr. FrrzPATRicK. As I point out later in my statement, I think Dr. 
Wertham, who has testified before your committee, and who has 
testified before our committee, and who has recently published a very 
excellent book entitled "Seduction of the Innocent", has put his finger 


on it when he says we, in effect, start youngsters on the crime comic 
and the horror book in their younger years, and then graduate them 
to the completely salacious type of pocket book that we have here and, 
therefore, influence them right from the time when they are first 
interested in comics, right through their earlier years into adulthood. 

I think they both have a direct influence in various age groups. I 
think the whole thing is combined. 

The Chairman. You will treat with that later ? 

Mr. FiTzPATRiCK. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. I am sorry I interrupted you. 

Mr. FiTzPATRicK. Tliat is perfectly all right. I am glad to have 
you do so at any time. 

Now, Mr. Hoover also specifically stated in that same letter to Sena- 
tor Kefauver, back in 1950, that the availability of salacious literature 
and presentations of any type making mockery of democratic living 
and respect for law and order, are important causes leading to an un- 
healthy crime situation among young people. 

If there remains any doubt that comics are offering sex, horror, per- 
version, disrepect for law and a completely warped sense of values. 
I should like to refer this committee to our report and to one of the 
most flagrant examples I have yet seen, a so-called comic entitled 
""Panic," and published by "Tiny Tot Comics," and the managing 
editor is Mr. William M. Gaines, who testified before your committee 
on a previous hearing. 

The Chairman. I shall never forget his testimony nor his de- 

Mr. FiTzPATRiCK. I believe after you have read this comic book 
you will never forget this comic book, either, because I have been 
studying this subject very hard for a long time. I have never yet 
seen anything which equals this, nor which so well demonstrates the 
very type of evil that I believe we are trying to reach. 

Now, if I may beg your indulgence for just a few moments, I would 
like, first, sir, to submit to you some photostats of sections of this par- 
ticular book, and I would like to make reference to them very briefly, 
bearing in mind that this is published by Tiny Tot Comics. 

In the first place, sir, you will notice that the very first section — 
first, the cover, sir, is obvious. Then inside you will note that they 
say they frankly didn't think this kind of thing would sell ; that they 
had published a predecessor called "Mad," and they didn't think it 
would sell, but they found it did, and they put out Panic. This is the 
first issue of Panic. 

The first page of the first issue of this new comic book No. 3 of your 
photostats, is entitled "Sex and Sadism" department. Now, this is 
for tiny tots. The chief character in the first skit is a man who appar- 
ently is a private eye. He comes in a room where a man has been 
badly mutilated. He says he will get the man and that the man will 
die, and that he will use dum-dum bullets which will go through his 
body and leave a very large hole. 

His companion says, "You make me sick," 

This is what is very important, sir. 

The author of this thing then writes, "I make myself sick, but those 
idiots out there" — meaning the people who read the book — "buy this 
stuff; they eat it up; they love it; the gorier the better, this and sex." 

Now, if there ever was a complete and utter demonstration of the 


reason for the publication of this book, I respectfully submit, Senator ; 
there it is and there it is in print. 

He is not satisfied with that. He comes up to this girl. He tells 
her he is a private investigator. She says, "How would you like to 
mvestigate me, honey T' 

She starts to undress and he shoots her. "She gurgled up at me, 
spitting blood. She was still alive. I rammed my heel down into her 
face and did a graceful pirouette on her nose, grinning." 

Again his companion says, "You make me sick," and again he re- 
peats and comments, "I told you, Pat, I make myself sick, but I am 
supposed to be like this. These fiends out there love me like this." 

Then it goes on and, incidentally, as you will note in Mr. Hoover's 
statement, he particularly warned about publications that make a 
mockery of the police. 

I sho\v you again, I believe it is on your next photostat, what they 
are doing to the police, "Dumb highway patrol cop," and then a pic- 
ture of a policeman that looks much more like a mastifl' than a 

Then this book proceeds and we again find a photostatic sequence 
in the same plot that is not only fantastic, but which is complete and 
utter perversion. I am referring now to the sequence where this so- 
called private eye proceeds to this girl's home — and she, incidentally, 
had been requesting him to come with a statement that if he came he 
could have everything, including her. She then, and remember this 
is all for children, or could be for children ; it is 10 cents on any stand ; 
she then takes 

The Chairman. However, I might comment for the record, that I 
I had a naval officer tell me that he frequently went the rounds on his 
ship and threw a lot of these things over that the young sailors bring 

Mr, FiTZPATRiCK. Right, sir ; I was a naval officer for 3 years, and I 
know you are absolutely right. I know that the Navy during the last 
war banned certain types of comic books from the sailors in Korea, 
and whether they are for children or adults, this type of thing should 
not be published. 

This is so flagrant that I just want to beg your indulgence for 2 or 
3 more minutes. 

She then drags this man up to her room and goes through all of the 
gyrations which are evidenced in the photostats, and finally begins 
to undress. 

After additional invitations he then kills her and she turns out to be 
a man — complete and utter perversion. 

Now, skipping over the rest of this rot — and I call it rot without any 
reservation whatsoever — we come to the comic book idea of how the 
Night Before Christmas should be presented, one of the most wonder- 
ful poems that we have ever had in our entire history, I believe. It 
starts out with the presentation of dead carcasses, which is not quite so 
bad, and then proceeds to stockings hanging before the fireplace, which 
takes the form of panties and a girl's leg with a garter on it, "Visions 
of sugar plus," Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell; "Mama in her 
kerchief" becomes a girl in a bed. 

It ends up by Santa Claus going off with "Just Divorced" on the 
back. That is the kind of complete and utter rot we are giving to 


children under the guise of something that originally started out sup- 
posedly to be funny. 

Incidentally, they call it Humor in a Varicose Vein. 

The Chairman. Do you know how many of these particular publi- 
cations go out every month ? 

Mr, FiTZPATRicK. Of this particular one; no, sir, I do not. I don't 
have the staff to do the kind of detailed investigation that you are 
doing so expertly with this type of thing. I know that your counsel 
is doing a fine job of tracing individual publications. 

The Chairman, I might ask our counsel for the record, do we have 
an account of the number of issues of Panic ? 

Mr. Beaser. We have minimum and maximum publication figures. 

Mr, FiTZPATRCK. There are approximately 90 million comic books 
a month being published and distributed. You have those figures. 
But how many of this particular issue, I can't tell you. 

As I said before, and I pointed out in my statement, Dr. Wertham 
has told you how we start them on tliis, and we condition them, and 
bring them along. 

Just briefly I would like to mention this because I think it ties in 
the direct picture. After we have conditioned them on this type of 
thing, on sex and horror, which he himself says is the sole purpose 
of this publication, we then give them this type of thing: She Lived 
in Sin, Shameful Love, Confessions of a Pick-up Girl, Shameless 
Play Girl, and Out of Bounds. 

I would like to submit these to your committee, sir. 

The Chairman. They will be made a part of the subcommittee's 
files. Let that be exhibit No. 2f). 

(The material referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 26," and re- 
ceived for the record. ) 

Mr. FrrzPATRicK. Now, what the publishers of this type of booK 
are presenting to our J^outh, as acceptable in the field of morals, can 
be determined from a description of sin, taken from one such pub- 
lication and included in our committee's report at page 75. It is 
.stated in one such publication that there is no such thing as sin and 
that "Sin is a label that has been attached to the most daring and 
enjoyable experiences which those who decry it are either too old 
or too unattractive to enjoy." 

That, sir, is their version of sin. 

Now, may I say also that we have tried in our report to show very 
quickly the type of com])lete and utter filth that can now be found 
in pocket books, available for children or anyone else, on the news- 
stands of this State. 

On ])age 77 of our report, sir, you will find that for 35 cents, any- 
one, child or otherwise — I say child, of course, I am talking of the 
juvenile — anyone 14, 15, 16 years old, Avho might be interested — for 
35 cents in 1 book, can read about Lesbianism, call girls, marihuana, 
switch-blade knives, immorality, prostitution, murder, narcotics, and 
male prostitution. 

This pocket-book material is not fit for adults, and certainly should 
not be permitted to fall into the hands of juveniles, or to be displayed 
where youngsters can view the covers, so aptly described by Margaret 
Culkin Banning as "pictorial prostitution." 

Turning to the field of congressional action, I feel that one of the 
greatest services this committee can render is to seek by publicity to 


alert the clergy, the press, the officials, the parents, and the educators 
of this country to a full realization of the type of material that is 
being sold to young people throughout this land. 

I am delighted to see that this hearing is being covered so well 
by the press and by the newsreel and television cameras. I think 
that is one of the greatest objectives that we have to obtain, both you, 
sir, on the Federal level, and we, on the State level, in our respective 
States. Since the publication of this report, I have received in- 
numerable letters from people who are horrified, who are scandalized 
at the type of thing that is on the stands, and who had no idea that 
comic books consisted of anything other than Bugs Bunny and Mickey 
Mouse. They just have not paid any attention to it. 

The Chairman. Let the Chair assure you that I am one of those 
who had no idea of this sort of thing. 

Mr. FiTZPATRiCK. I think that is a very common situation and I 
think, therefore, that one of the best things we can do is to present 
to the American public in full view the exact type of thing that is 
going on. 

As you yourself said in your opening remarks, there are relatively 
few people who are responsible for this type of thing. Most of the 
publishers in this country are decent, honest people. A great per- 
centage of the comic-book industry, as we pointed out in our report, 
is engaged in publishing decent comics that have a proper place for 

But there is a small percentage; they are willful, and they will 
disregard anything and trample on anything to get what they want. 

Now, to show you the type of interest that is being created, since 
the publication of our report, we have had inquiries from your own 
State of New Jersey — which, incidentally, is doing a splendid job and 
has recently introduced, and I am sure you are familiar with, Mr. 
Thompson's bill in the New Jersey State Legislature — Minnesota, 
Massachusetts, Texas, California, and many other States who are 
requesting copies of the report. They are talking about introducing 
similar legislation. 

Community programs to curb sales are springing up in New York 
State. People are waking up at last, but there is still much to be done 
in the field of education. 

Now, in the field of legislation, I feel that it is high time for our 
people, the Congress and the courts, to awaken to a realization that 
the framers of our Constitution could not have intended the great 
guaranties of the freedom of the press as license for irresponsible 
publishers to contaminate the minds and morals of children for profit. 

We need much more effective legislation both on the State and 
Federal level, and I believe that once we have overcome that hurdle, 
we will be able to get it, and I think that the educational process is 
now setting in. 

I think that the courts will eventually come back to the principle 
that was expressed by Justice Colin in the appellate division in the 
Winters case. At that time he said this r 

Pursuant to the police power and without abridging freedom of the press, the 
State may enact reasonable regulations in order to protect the general welfare, 
public safety, and order and public morals. Wbile the right to publish is sanc- 
tioned and secured, the abuse of that right is excepted from the protection of the 
Constitution, and authority to provide for and punish such abuse is left to the 


The Chairman. It is really a privilege and not a right. 
Mr. FiTzPATRiCK. That is right, sir, but I think we have to do a 
little educational work in that regard. 

The punishment of those who publish articles which tend to corrupt morals, 
induce crime, and destroy organized society, is essential to the sec«rity of freedom 
and the stability of the state. 

I believe that should be the basic philosophy behind our legislation. 

The Chairman. I do not want to interrupt your chain of thought, 
but you are commenting on the need for Federal legislation. I know 
that your mind — I was a member of my own legislature in New 
Jersey — is running mostly to State legislation. 

Mr. FiTzPATRicK, That is right. 

The Chairman. Have you thought out or spelled out in your own 
thinking any specific form of legislation that we of the Congress 
should adopt? 

Mr. FiTzPATRicK. Yes, sir; I have it in my statement. I am coming 
to it right now. 

May I also say, too, that, of course, my experience is limited to eight 
years in the state legislature, and that I realize there are many difficul- 
ties involved in Congressional legislation, which do not face us, and 
that you have a great diversity of opinion from various parts of the 

The Chairman. Caused by State lines. 

Mr. Fitzpatrick. Yes, sir. It makes it much more difficult, but we 
have just introduced and successfully passed this bill on tie-in sales. 
We have introduced also, and I have a copy in the back, in the appendix 
of our report, a bill that I believe your New Jersey bill is patterned 
on, Senator, if I may be so bold as to say so. 

I have had conversations with Mr. Kaplon, who is doing such a 
fine job, and your people in New Jersey. We have introduced in 
the State, and have not yet been able to pass — I hope with this condi- 
tioning process we are going to get to it — a bill which makes a distinc- 
tion between selling literature to the general public and selling litera- 
ture to juveniles, and to children. 

Now, personally, I feel very strongly about that. I think that we 
forbid now the sale of liquor to children ; we forbid the sale of tobacco 
to children, on the general ground that it affects their health and 

To me it is just as important to forbid the sale to children of any- 
thing which breaks down standards of morality, which stimulates sex- 
ual desire, and which contributes to juvenile delinquency. 

I would like to see in the State of New York and on the Federal 
level, specific legislation banning the sale of horror comic books. 

As far as I am concerned, I would like to see all of the horror comic 
books deleted from sales to children. I am not sure whether we can 
do that on a constitutional basis, or not, but certainly we have pro- 
tections in our Constitution against that which is repulsive, if not 
indecent, and certainly this kind of material is repulsive. 

I think we should seek both on the Federal and State level, legis- 
lation dealing specifically with the sale to minors. 

Then I feel this: We have heard a great deal about tie-in sales. 
You are going to find, I believe, sir, if I may be so bold as to say so^ 
that it is a very difficult thing to tie people down on the tie-in sales. 


That is probably not the proper way to put it, but that is the net 
result of it. 

We have had a great deal of testimony. We have submitted copies 
of our written testimony to your counsel on previous dates, when we 
have had the same type of hearings in New York, the same type that 
you are now having. We have found as a result of our personal in- 
vestigation that, without any question at all, there are newsdealers 
throughout this State who have been led to believe, that if they do 
not take these bulk packages that are distributed to them and do not 
make an effort to sell Panic and Sun Bathing, and that type of 
thing, along with the legitimate type of publication, they will not 
obtain the legitimate publications, or that they will lose their fran- 

I have a man in my own community who has repeatedly said to 
any groups coming in attempting to clean up this material, "I would 
love to cooperate with you, but it is impossible. I can't do it be- 
cause I would lose my franchise. If I lose my franchise, I can't take 
care of my wife and children", and so on. 

Actually, we have found that two conditions exist. We are firmly 
convinced from people who have testified before us; one, that there 
are instances in the State of New York where the tie-in sale has been 
enforced, where the man has actually been told that he shall either 
acce])t A, B, and C, or he shall no longer get D, E, and F, the 
legitimate publications. 

We have also found innumerable instances where in our opinion 
the dealer, when asked to cooperate by the community, has used as a 
cloak for continuing to sell for his own profit this type of trash, the 
cloak that he would lose his franchise, or that he would not be able 
to get the decent publications in the event he did cooperate with 
our people. 

We have accomplished two things by our bill in New York State, 
I hope. One, we have banned the tie-in sale. We have made it illegal 
in the State of New York. There is a copy of my bill in the appendix. 
It is page 39 : 

No person, company, partnership, or corporation, shall as a condition to a sale 
or delivery for resale of any paper, magazine, book, periodical or publication, 
require that the purchaser or consignee receive for resale any other book or 
publication, reasonably believed by the purchaser, or consignee, to be obscene, 
lewd, lascivious. 

Mr. Beaser. Where there is a tie-in sale, is that imposed by the 
local wholesaler ? Does it go higher than that, to the distributor, to 
the publisher? 

Mr. FiTZPATRicK. We have instances of both. We have been told by 
the wdiolesaler that he must take and distribute to the retailer or he 
will not receive from either the nationwide distributor or the pub- 

The Chairman. You have sworn testimony on this point, do you ? 

Mr. FiTZPATRiCK. Senator, those hearings were 2 years ago. I 
believe that we have. You certainly have similar testimony in the 
Gathings report, and last week, or whenever you were here before, a 
man here I believe who represented the newsdealers, gave you sworn 
testimony along those lines. 

May I say this to you, sir: that we have all kinds of legal inter- 
pretations of this law and initially a large number of legal objections. 


Wliat it amounts to simply and solely, I believe, is an exercise of a 
man's constitutional rio:ht to say, "I am in business; I am selling legi- 
timate publications. 1 shall not be forced by you to take something 
which I personally think is obscene, indecent, or lewd, as a condition 
to my selling something else." 

In any event, I should like to see that type of legislation on a 
Federal level. 

Furthermore, I feel that we need to strengthen the postal regula- 
tions. There was a great deal about that in the Gatliings report. 
My understanding is that under existing law the Postmaster General, 
if he wants to proceed, has to proceed by hearings and sometimes 
these hearings take as long as 6 months. 

In the meantime, the fly-by-night operator is gone, or he is pub- 
lishing something else. 

I respectfully suggest that consideration be given to a law empower- 
ing the Postmaster General to apply to the courts for an injunction 
on not more than 5-day notice to the individual, company, or cor- 
poration involved, in distributing this type of literature. 

You will find that we are attempting to use the injunction powers 
of the State in a bill which becomes eti'ective here on the first of July, 
and we hope that it is going to be most effective in helping us to rid 
the stands of this kind of material. 

Talking about postal regulations, and as a matter of regulation, I 
think you will be interested to know that I was recently flabbergasted 
to find that the most salacious type of material, advertisements for 
books that can be purchased, such things as "My Sister and I," "Dou- 
ble Exposure," "Homosexual Life" — everything of the worst type, 
has within recent months been mailed through the mails to, of all 
people, youngsters in preparatory school, unsolicited mailings to a 
list of youngsters in preparatory school, asking them if they don't 
want to buy this type of material. 

I am pleased to be able to report to your committee, and I believe 
your counsel is aware of it because he has been after this kind of thing 
too, that within recent weeks the police department of the city of 
New York has raided the place from which this material came and 
has taken away, as I understand it, truckloads of material. 

So, fortunately, that has been accomplished. 

This is another practice which is going on through the mails. 
They are mailing to individuals with confidential return blanks with 
numbers so that you, sir, or I, if we wish to investigate this, could 
not take the blank and mail it and receive the material. I know, 
because I tried. The letters are all returned unanswered. This type 
of material, advertisements for books wdiich I believe are completely 
sacrilegious for one thing — I won't even read the titles in this record. 
It is interesting to say that on the face of this they start out, "Banned 
by bigots who can't stand the meaning of the word 'sex'." 

The Chairman. Maybe the titles also should go in the record. May 
I see them ? 

Mr. FiTZPATRiCK. Yes, sir. Some of them I have collected are par- 
ticularly obnoxious and I believe they are sacrilegious. 

The Chairman. These titles also will go into the record, but they 
will not be read in the proceedings. 

Mr. FiTZPATRicK. Thank you, Senator. 


May I say that this publication on its face says, "Banned by bigots 
who can't stand the meaning of the word 'sex', but available to you 
if you hurry." 

It goes on. I don't want to take your time to read it, but it says the 
bluenoses — and I am sure you are not one as you said in the begin- 
ning, and I hope I am not one, either, nor can I be considered a prude — 
we "must face the fact that certain well-intentioned, but narrow- 
minded reform groups are threatening to choke off the source of this 
supply," but if you hurry now you can get it before they are effective. 

The Chairman. The Chair will instruct the recorder to include 
these advertisements also at this point. Let that be exhibit No. 27. 

(The material referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 27," and is on 
file with the subcommitte.) 

Mr. FiTzPATRicK. Finally, it is respectfully submitted that con- 
sideration be given to providing limited, and closely scrutinized, im- 
munity from antitrust regulation for any group or groups of publish- 
ers or distributors, working together for the sole purpose of enforcing 
industry supervision over the sale of obscene and objectionable liter- 

Now, you mentioned and you are right, that the best way of cleaning 
up this mess is to have the industry clean up itself. We tried that. 
We had these publishers in; we took their testimony; we issued a 
report. We said very plainly, "Gentlemen, we will give you an entire 
year to clean your own house. We feel the best regulation is self- 
regulation. You know this is bad. You clean it up and you will have 
no trouble from our legislative committee." 

We came back in a year. Senator. We called the same people before 
us. They had done nothing. They had attempted to do nothing. 

I am speaking now not of the better segment of the industry, but of 
the people who had so flagrantly published this type of material and 
who continued to do so. 

After they said to us they had done nothing, we then proceeded to 
attempt to enact legislation, and we have finally been successful in 
passing some of it this past year. 

Mr. Beaser. Actually, from your experience, do the Federal anti- 
trust laws prevent them from getting together ? They have never tried 
that ; have they ? 

Mr. FiTzPATRicK. I want to get to that. I have talked to some of 
the more responsible people in the publishing industry, and I know 
you have. I have found this: in the first instances there have been 
numerous attempts by segments of the industry to get the renegades 
to come in and play ball and they won't do it. There have been 
organizations formed, and you get the people who are not publishing 
the bad materials anyhow. The other people stay outside. 

Now, what is happening is this, and this is what I am told by 
representatives of tlie industry: they are reluctant to attempt any 
kind of coercion within the industry, because they feel that they will 
be subjecting themselves to prosecution under the antitrust laws. 

I have direct evidence of that from this morning's paper. It is very 
interesting. In the first place, there was a piece in the Herald Tribune 
this morning about a newspaper's rejection of an ad in Poughkeepsie. 
The judge held that they could reject the ad. He says the newspaper 
must not be engaged in fraudulent conspiracy of furthering unlawful 


I believe the same philosophy is the thing that is acting as a deter- 
rent to groups who are anxious to clean their own house. They have 
found they just simply can't go to the fellow publishers and ask, 
"Won't you play ball?" And whatever means they can use in the 
industry to force them to play ball they are afraid to utilize because 
of fear of prosecution under the antitrust laws. 

I feel there is real merit in their contention that we should give seri- 
ous consideration to opening the door for them to proceed within 
their own industry, because this type of self-regulation unquestion- 
ably in our opinion is the best of all regulations, but we have found 
it has not worked up to date. 

I notice again with a great deal of pleasure that William Richter, 
who appeared and testified before you on this tie-in sale problem, is 
acting as counsel now for a newsdealers association, which is forming 
:a cooperative to attempt to ban comics. This piece was in the New 
York Times this morning. 

This, incidentally, is following the excellent work that is being done 
in New York by Mr. Kaplon of your own State, sir, along the same 
general lines. I hope this is the kind of thing of which we will see 
more and more. 

The CHAiKMAisr. I am glad you referred to that announcement by 
Mr. Richter, because I have before me an article which indicates their 
effort to clean house within the industry, on the same subject. 

Mr. FiTZPATRiCK. That is wonderful. I hope they can do it. But 
I think we have to realize that efforts in the past have not met with 
great success and it is only because of that — and I believe this is very, 
very important — it is only because of that that the State of New York 
has had to step in, and I think you are going to have to step in on a 
Federal level. 

Just one more thing that might be of interest to you, as an indirect 
result of the tie-in sale, the kind of thing that can happen with de- 
cent distributors. I have in my hand a letter — it happens to be from 
a distributor in my home town, but it is indicative, I believe, of what 
can be done — in which he states to the retailers that the tie-in sales 
bill of the State of New York has been passed, and that it will be 
effective on the 1st of July, and while it has not been their practice 
to purposely disseminate indecent material of any kind, they want it 
clearly known to their retailers that any material that they have 
reason personally to believe is indecent or obscene can be returned to 
them directly without any obligation. I believe that is a step in the 
right direction. 

The Chairman. It most certainly is a step in the right direction. 

Assemblyman, you talked about the industry putting its own house 
in order. Have you ever made a study of the number of printers 
engaged in this particular phase of these publications ? 

Mr. FiTZPATRiCK. Yes ; we went into that quite thoroughly in our 
printed report in 1951. We found that time that 75 to 80 percent 
of all comic books sold in the United States were put out by 12 leading 
companies. The other percentage was put out by the fly-by-nights, 
which are the ones we are having great trouble in hitting. 

Now, no one can sit down today, I believe, and tell you that there 
are X number of them, because that is the very nature of their business. 

The Chairman. I am not talking about the publishers, but the 


Mr. FiTZPATRicK. No, sir; I do not know the answer to that . Yon 
mean people who actnally print the publications ? 

The Chairman. That is right. Would it not be an interesting thing 
to have that figure, because they must be, I suspect that they would 
be, members of the printers' union, whatever the official name is, and 
maybe through the unions you could make an appeal on this subject 
and clean house that way ? 

Mr. FiTZPATRicK. Well, I am afraid. Senator, that we are going to 
have to have at least the stick in hand. 

In other words, while voluntary control is the answer if it will 
honestly be placed in operation by the industry, I do not think we 
are going to get it because people who publish this kind of thing, 
in my humble opinion, have no morals, and if they have no morals 
in distributing filth and breaking down the whole moral attitude of 
oar youth, I don't think they care whether or not they have any 

I am speaking now, remember, about the few, reserving as you 
did in your opening statement, for the better segment of the industry 
all of the praise that they deserve, all of the praise they deserve in 
attempting to clean their own house. 

If tliey could get these other fellows in, wonderful; let us do it 
that way, but I think we are going to have to have a big stick to do it. 

We went through some of the big comic-book printing plants and 
we found this with respect to that, at that particular time. They 
print great quantities of these and the prints are submitted months 
in advance, at least that is what we were told at tliat time. They 
simply do not have an opportunity within the plant to control the 
content of the material as it comes through. 

We went to them at one time. We thought at one time — in fact, 
the first bill I introduced in 1049 set up a separate bureau in the 
educational department, where all of these things would have to be 
submitted in advance. 

Well, that censorship is not desirable; we have come to a realiza- 
tion ourselves that in our opinion that is not the best way to approach 
the problem. 

I do think that the tie-in sales bill, the giving to the Postmaster 
General some additional authority to go in and get these people before 
they can get away, same thouglit to the antitrust — elimination of the 
antitrust restriction in the specific instance 

The Chairman. I hope the staff are underscoring these remarks 
because they do relate to our Federal Droblem 

Mr. FiTzPATRicK. I think those are the kinds of things that can be 
helpful. I think I have undoubtedly taken much time of your com- 
mittee. I want you to know how appreciative we are of the opportunity 
to appear before you, how deeply interested we are, and I believe many 
more and responsible segments of the people of the State of "Nerv 
York are interested in seeing something done about this kind of 
thing which we think, if it is permitted to go unhampered and un- 
restricted, will honestly drag down the whole moral tone, not only of 
our youth, but of our entire country. 

I hope, sir, that you will be highly successful. If there is any way 
in which we in our small way can contribute to the work of your 
committee, or if we can furnish you anything further from the ma- 
terial we have at our disposal, we will be delighted to do so. 


The Chairman. Assemblyman, I speak for the whole subcommittee. 
I am sorry my distinguished colleagues are not here with nle this 
morning because you have made a great contribution to this commit- 
tee's etlort ; I think one of the finest contributions in all of our labors. 

I know that my colleagues would have been inspired as I am by your 
testimony here this morning, your forthright, courageous, and fearless 
approach to this problem. 

Your report, of course, will be carefully studied. You have gone into 
this field; you are ahead of us in this particular field in the area in 
which we are operating. 

I just want to thank you from the bottom of a full and grateful 
heart for your appearance here this morning. 

Mr. FiTZPATRicK. Thank you, sir, it was a real pleasure. 

The Chairman. Counsel will call the next witness. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Benjamin Freedman. 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you are 
about to give before this subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee 
of the United States will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing 
but the truth, so help you God 'i 

Mr. Freedman. I clo. 


The Chairman. For the record, will you state your full name and 
address and association'^ 

Mr. Freedman. Benjamin Freedman, 518 Vermont Street, Brook- 
lyn. I am chairman of the board of the Newsdealers Association of 
Greater New York and America. 

The Chairman, Counsel, you may proceed to examine the witness. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Freedman, you are also a newsdealer here in New 
York City ? 

Mr. Freedman, Yes, sir. 

Mr, Beaser. Where is your place of business ? 

Mr. Freedman. Located on the northwest corner of Broadway and 
42d Street. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you carry on your newsstand crime and horror 
comics ? 

Mr. Freedman, I did at one time. 

Mr. Beaser. You no longer carry them ? 

Mr, Freedman, No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Will you tell us what you know about the problems you 
run into in carrying them, or not carrying crime and horror comics? 

Mr, Freedman. Originally, we carried the regular crime — not crime, 
I mean the comic books, but when these crime and horror comic books 
came out they were forced upon us by the distributor. 

Mr. Beaser. In what way were they forced? 

Mr. Freedman. Tie-in sales. I gave you an illustration. Without 
giving any notice or placing any orders we get a bundle. Most of the 
time we get a bundle from the deli very man and it is thrown at us, 
probably sometime when we are busy. 


The first chance we get we open it up and we put it out on the stand. 
Then until our attention is called we don't even know we have those 
books sometimes. 

The average news dealer is always so busy getting his latest editions 
and getting through with his work, that half the time he doesn't know 
what he gets until he starts checking up to pay the bill. Then he 
realizes what he gets. 

Now, when we protest about some of these books we are told that 
"Unless you buy these books, you cannot get the other leading books." 
Many times we have been cut off and threatened and harrassed. 

The Chairman. When you refer, Mr. Freedman, to "these books," 
you are talking about books such as you see before you on exhibit here ? 

Mr. Freedman. Yes, sir ; some of these books, sex books and books 
that are not fit to be on public newsstands. We have no way of fight- 
ing this. 

Mr. Beaser. You say you no longer carry these, though. 

Mr. Freedman. I for one don't. Some of them do. But most of 
them since that last investigation have done away with it, particularly 
those members of our association. 

The Chairman. By the last investigation, you mean the last ap- 
pearance of this committee in the city of New York? 

Mr. Freedman. Yes, sir; they are being handled now as we call it 
"underground;" the secondhand bookstores get them and these fly-by- 
night dealers and peddlers. They are sold in automobiles, some of 
them near high schools and some went out of town. Most of them are 
secondhand bookstores that are getting most of that stuff. 

Mr. Beaser. You say as a result of the hearings we have held here 
many of the dealers in New York City have notified their wholesalers 
they will no longer carry those? 

Mr. Freedman. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. Have there been any retributions? 

Mr. Freedman. There are some threats. We can't tell you exactly 
how many stopped carrying them, but a small percentage I will say. 

Mr. Beaser. Have stopped completely? 

Mr. Freedman. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. Have they been cut off from any of the other kinds 
of magazines ? 

Mr. Freedman. Some of them have been cut off and some of them 
have been hurt some other way. 

For instance, if a bundle is to come in, let us say, Thursday at 6 
o'clock in the morning, a certain distributor has a package. Those 
that have returned their horror comic books, instead of getting theirs 
at 6, they get theirs at 11 o'clock. He will make that the last stop. 
Everybody else has his books sold. 

Mr. Beaser. When you say bundle, what would appear on a typical 

Mr. Freedman. It is just tied up with a lot of wire. It takes a 
little time to open up. You just can't open it and check. It is wire 
all around. When you open it up, there is your bundle; you don't 
know what is there until the driver is gone. 

Mr. Beaser. That is not all comic books ? 

Mr. Freedman. No ; it is all tied in together. 

The Chairman. How big is this bundle ? 


Mr. Fkeedman, Some of them weigh 50 pounds ; some 40, some 60, 
some 30. Sometimes you get 3 bundles, sometimes you get 2, some- 
times 1. 

There is no such thing as uniform bundles. It all depends on what 
they feel like sending you. 

Mr. Beaser. It will be a mixture of good comics ? 

Mr. Fkeedman. Good comics, other books, magazines, and these 

Mr. Beaser. And the popular magazines ? 

Mr. Freedman. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. Have any of the dealers found that the deliveries of 
the good magazines have been cut down rather than cut off ? 

Mr. Freedman. Some of them have been cut down and some have 
been cut off. 

Mr. Beaser. They are not getting as many ? 

Mr. Freedman. Not as many as before. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, is there any handling charge you pay for getting 
the crime and horror comics, or for returning crime and horror comics, 
or other comics ? 

Mr. Freedman. There is a service charge on the delivery. Whether 
it is particularly for the crime comic books or otherwise, we don't 
know, but there is a service charge for the entire package. 

Mr. Beaser. Each time you receive a package 

Mr. Freedman. There is a service charge, sometimes a dollar, some- 
times 50 cents. We pay it whether we like it or not. It is paid to the 
distributor on the bill. 

Mr. Beaser. If you were to return 100 crime and horror comics, or 
comics, is there a charge for returning them ? 

Mr. Freedman. No, sir ; there is no charge for returning them, but 
you probably won't get your credit for maybe 6 weeks or 2 months 

Mr. Beaser. Are there any instances in which the credit has been 
delayed deliberately because of the number of returns made? 

Mr. Freedman. Yes, sir ; there has, many of them. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, if you return too many they will delay 
on the credit ? 

Mr. Freedman. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. How often do you have to pay for shipments you 
receive ? 

Mr. Freedman. Mostly weekly bills. 

Mr. Beaser. On that bill, they give you credit for what you returned 
the week before ? 

Mr. Freedman. You are supposed to, but you don't get it all the 

Suppose they hold it up a month or 6 weeks. Sometimes they tell 
you they can't find the bundle. You just keep calling until you get 
tired of it sometimes. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you personally had any retribution because of 
your not carrying crime and horror comics ? 

Mr. Freedman. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. You are still getting the same number of other maga- 
zines that you want ? 


Mr. Freedman. That is right, sir. I am one of the few they know 
is active in the association. I am one of the few that will just hght 
them if they do that. 

Mr. Beaser. The returns are made directly to the wholesaler ? 

Mr. Freedman. The driver picks the bundle uj) when he delivers 
sometimes, and sometimes the day before, and sometimes we deliver it 

Mr. Beaser. They are returned by the wholesaler to the publisher ; 
is that right? 

Mr. Freedman. I assume that is what they do — no, I don't think 
so — I think that these books, if you are talking about the comic books, 
the crime ones, they are not returned to the publisher or the wholesaler, 
but they go to other places, sometimes out of town and sometimes to the 
second-hand bookstores. That is where you will tind most of your 
filthy books now. 

Mr. Beaser. You mean they try to keep selling them in as many 
places as possible ? 

Mr. Freed^iIan. They keep them on the market as long as they can. 

INIr. Beaser. So what you get in the bundle may not necessarily be 
the most recent publications. They may have come from other news- 

Mr. Freedman. That is right ; they may have come from other news- 
dealers or out of town someplace. 

Mr. Beaser. Actually, Mr. Freedman, would you be able, if the 
system were a little different, to select these magazines? How many 
juagazines do you carry ? 

Mr. Freedman. Sometimes we carry 800, a thousand, (500. 

Mr. Beaser. Weeklies, monthlies, bimonthlies? 

Mr. Freedman. Yes. It depends on the time of the year when you 
are doing business. 

Mr. Beaser. Would you have an opportunity to sit down each week 
and o-o throue;h a checklist of 800 magazines and decide how manv you 
need and how many you do not need ? 

Mr. Freedman. We do that while standing at the particular stand. 

Mr. Beaser. You do it for any of the publications ? 

Mr. Freedman. We see a book dijesn't move any too fast. We just 
make a note of it and say we will cut down on that one, while we are at 
the stand. 

Mr. Beaser. You tell the driver or distributor ? 

Mr. Freedman. We either call up the office or we tell the driver we 
don't want these. If they insist on sending them to you we must put 
them under the counter and keep them there to return them. 

Mr. Beaser. Then you have to wait for credit ? 

Mr. Freedman. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. The incentive would be to sell ? 

Mr. Freedman. We try to push them if we can, to exist. 

Mr. Beaser. Otherwise j^ou have a lot of money tied up? 

Mr. Freedman. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. Can you give us the names of the wholesalers from 
whom you have refused to accept crime and horror comics ? 

Mr. Freedman. Our secretary, Mr. J. Kay, has a list of all the names 
of the distributors. We will be glad to furnish them to you off the 
record. We just don't want to get tangled. There may be some legal 
angle there for a comeback. 


If you want the names I think Mr. Kay will give them to you. 

The Chairman. The Chair will order that that list be made a part 
of the subcommittee's files. 

Mr. Freedman. All right, sir, and Mr. Kay will furnish it here. 

(The information referred to was received at a later date, marked 
"Exhibit No. 28," and is on file with the subcommittee.) 

Mr. Beaser. There is still fear of retribution ? 

Mr. Freedman. We are continuously being threatened. 

Mr. Beaser. With what ? 

Mr. P^reedman. Being cut off, no telling what is going to happen. 

A couple of years ago our attorney, Mr. Richter, advised us that 
if we don't want to carry the Daily Worker — and we refused to handle 
it and most of our members don't, we had threats for lawsuits 

The Chairman. This subcommittee can understand that. We are 
occasionally threatened, ourselves. 

Mr. Freedman. We have threats and we are people, most of us out 
at the newsstand, most of us are disabled veterans, sick people, and 
we don't look for trouble and we are tickled to deatli to be left alone. 
We don't want to put up with any threats. We are a little careful. 
There are a few of us that are not afraid, but you can't fight all the 
people all the time. 

Mr. Beaser. Have there been threats of physical violence ? 

Mr. Freedman. There is a way of hurting you. If a distributor 
cuts off a certain item it means he has to lay some help off. I will 
give you one little angle. 

Let us say he loses a certain amount of magazines that he is not 
going to deliver. He lays off two men. He tells these two men "Be- 
cause these newsdealers refuse to handle these books, I have to lay you 
people off." 

You figure out the rest. They have a union ; you think what is going 
to happen to us. 

The Chairman. You do not have to worry if you are right. 

Mr. Freedman. I am one of these that is not worried. I would 
rather die than be afraid, but not all of them feel that way. 

Mr. Beaser. You said some time ago there was a cutting off by the 
newsdealers of receipts of the Daily Worker. Was there any retribu- 
tion that you know of ? 

Mr. Freedman. We were threatened, our counsel was threatened, 
but most of us just don't carry it and people just don't ask for it. 
Some of them do, but the majority don't. 

Mr. Beaser. But the distributor did not cut down on magazines, or 
don't you know ? 

Mr. Freedman. Well, the distributor that handles the Daily Worker 
is a newspaper distributor. They don't handle magazines. 

Mr. Beaser. Was there cutting off of the newspapers ? 

Mr. Freedman. No, there was just a little talk and threats, but it 
went over pretty good. 

Mr. Beaser. Was there any delay in deliveries? 

Mr. Freedman. No, not in that respect. 

Mr. Beaser. I have no further questions, IMr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Mr. Freedman, how many members do you have 
in your association ? 

Mr. Freedman. We have about a thousand members. 

49632—54 15 


The Chairman. Do you have meetings regularly ? 

Mr. Freedman. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. What are the stated periods of your meetings? 

Mr. Freedman. Sometimes once a month or if it is a special meeting 
we call it within the month. 

The Chairman. According to the needs? 

Mr. Freedman. That is right. Our board meets every week. We 
meet at our attorney's office, or at our own office. 

The Chairman. I presume you discuss at these meetings this prob- 
lem that brings this committee here this morning? 

Mr. Freedman. Yes, sir ; we did, and we instructed everyone of our 
board members — and every board member comes from a key spot in 
the five boroughs, and acts as sort of chairman of his vicinity — to tell 
all the dealers there to do away with the horror books. 

We have had some very good reports, but we are in trouble with the 
tie-ins, we are in fear. That is one of the reasons we started at our 
counsel's suggestion to organize this distributing company which we 
are about ready to start now. I think that may be the answer. 

The Chairman. You see your association or its members taking 
new heart as a result of this inquiry ? 

Mr. Freedman. Yes, sir; they feel very good about it. Not only 
the members, but we get customers that come over to the stand and 
remark about the wonderful job you people have been doing with their 
children ; that they don't ask for those books. They are a little scared^ 
but it is still going on. 

The Chairman. Do you find that the parents have known about 
these publications ? 

Mr. Freedman. Yes; some of the parents would go out and buy for 
the children. They are just as bad as the children, some of them, just 
bring them right over and ask for them. They both read them. 

I would think, that this investigating committee has done a wonder- 
ful job with us dealers, too. Some, of the distributors are a little bit 
careful how to handle us. 

Of course, this may be a temporary condition. They may feel dur- 
ing the investigation while the lights are on, why, they will just take it 
easy. As soon as it is over, they will start all over again. 

The Chairman. Even members of the bar that are sworn to uphold 
the law need investigation once in a while. 

Mr. Freedman. I know it. I know one thing, Mr. Chairman, that 
our association has always been ready to cooperate with any law 
agency or any department and help as much as we could. We have 
the loyalty oath in our association. If we find anything wrong with 
any member we are the first ones to go to the front. We are the first 
ones to call to the attention of our license commissioner, who has 
done a wonderful job, the violating of any of the rules or the laws of 
the association. 

We welcome this not only because of the comics, but because of the 
tie-ins and the abuse that we dealers have been getting for the last 50 

Mr. Kay, I believe, has been a dealer for 30 years. I have been one 
for 35 years. Some of them for 35 and 40. We have had nothing 
but abuse and there is nothing we can do about it. 

But in the last few months it took a little bit of a change with the 
help of your committee, and our counsel are always on top of them. 


The Chairman. Your Joint Legislative Committee of New York 
has done a very fine job. 

Mr. Freedman. They have done a great job, but they are not living 
up to the laws that have been passed ; nobody is enforcing them. 

The Chairman. You mean locally ? 

Mr. Freedman. That is right. This tie-in law, they should have a 
certain department to follow it up and go out and check and bring 
these people to court and see that they do the right thing. 

Of course, I think this law has only been passed recently, so we will 
be patient and give them a little time to organize. 

The Chairman. There has to be a period of education after every 
law is passed. 

Mr. Freedman. That is right. There should be some law with 
teeth in it about these books, and everything else pertaining to these 
juvenile delinquencies, and get after the printers. They are the ones. 
If they will be told they can't print, they wouldn't. 

It is like counterfeiters. The United States Counterfeiting Depart- 
ment is alwaj'S after the ones that make the plates and do the printing. 
That is where you will hit home here. Get after the ones that print 
it, and they will get after the ones that want them to print it. 

Mr. Beaser. You don't think it is the publishers ? 

Mr, Freedman. Well, the publisher has something to do with it. 
They are the ones tliat are ordering it, but if the printer wouldn't 
want to print it and the publisher won't be able to get one, they w^on't 
print it. 

The Chairman. If the publisher couldn't get printers it would be 

Mr. Freedman. Yes. 

The Chairman. That is the reason I asked Assemblyman Fitzpat- 
rick the question as to whether the unions could not help in this field. 

Mr. Freedman. They could. I believe if you went to the head of 
the legitimate unions, and I think the printing union is one of our 
legitimate unions, and explained the situation to them, I think they 
would cooperate and work with you. 

The Chairman. I understand your local here is called, the New 
York Typographical Union ; is that correct ? 

Mr. Freedman. That is right, sir. I think they would cooperate. 

The Chairman. I think this committee will probably solicit their 

Mr. Freedman. I think you will be doing a good thing. They will 
be a great help to you. 

The Chairman. Mr. Freedman, we are grateful for your presence 
here this morning. I commend you for your courage. 

Mr. Freedman. Thank you very much. 

The Chairman. Counsel will call the next witness. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Harold Chamberlain. 

The Chairman. You do not mind being sw^orn ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Not at all. 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you are 
about to give before this subcommittee of the Committee on the Judi- 
ciary of the United States Senate will be the truth, the whole truth, 
and notliing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. I do. 

The Chairman. Counsel, you may proceed. 


Mr. Beaser. Mr. Chamberlain, will you state for the record your 
full name, your home address, and business association ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Harold Chamberlain, 16 Park View Place, Bald- 
win, Long Island. Circulation director of the Independent News 
Co., 480 Lexington Avenue, New York City. 


Mr. B-EASER. Mr. Chamberlain, since you sat down, an exhibit has 
been put up which is an attempt to shoAv graphically the organiza- 
tional setup of the National Comic Publications, Inc. It shows the 
Independent News Co., of which I gather you are the circulation 
director. Then it shows the Lafayette Color Press, which is wliolly 
owned, and tJie All American Printing Co., Inc., which is owned 
pretty much by the same people. 

It shows that the Independent News Co. distributes magazines 
published by the Signal Publishing Co., which issues crime or horror 
comics; the Signal Publishing Co., being owned by one of the same 
people who owns the National Comic Publications. 

Mr. Chamberlain. May I interrupt, please? 

That is not correct. I. Donenfeld is not the same as H. Donenfeld. 

Mr. Beaser. There is no relationship? 

Mr. Chamberlain. There is a relationship, but it is not the same. 

Mr. Beaser. You distribute the Prize Comic group material? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. Then the National Comic Publications, Inc., is wholly 
owned by the National Comics Publications and those are publishers? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. And then the American Comic group and Beverly Pub- 
lishing Co., which issue no crime or horror comics? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Correct, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, could I ask you a few questions, please, about the 
National Comics Publishing Co.? They put out what I call the 
Superman comics? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is correct. That was the original identify- 
ing symbol, the Superman D. C. symbol, and it has now become 
known as the National Comics group. 

Mr. Beaser. They also issue other kinds of magazines? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir; just comics. 

Mr. Beaser. They also issue comics other than Superman? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. Are those representative samples of the names. Detec- 
tive Comics, Gang Busters ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is not representative. They have their 
comics broken down into various groups. I might identify them for 

Mr. Beaser. Would you, please ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. We have first the animated type comic, which 
is the Dodo the Frog, Flippity and Flop, Fox and Crow, Nutsie 
Squirrel, and so forth. They have 12 such comics in that group. 

They have the adventure type, such as Superman, Action, Adven- 
ture Magazine, and Congo Bill. There are 11 titles in that group. 


Then we have the detective type, and there are five, and of those 
are Mr. District Attorney, Big Town, Gaii^busters — in the National 
Comics gronp there are three, Big Town, Gangbusters, and Mr. Dis- 
tirct Attorney. 

Then they liave the humor, which is Bob Hope and Martin and 
Lewis and Mutt and JefF. They have teen-age comics such as Date 
With Judy, which is a strip similar to the television and radio 

Here is Howie, Pinkie, Buzzie. 

They have western comics such as Hopalong Cassidy. 

They have war-type comics, such as All American Men of War, 
and tlien science and space fiction. Mystery, and Space and 
Strange Adventure, and one which you apparently classify in your 
presentation here as fantasy, is House of Mystery. That is the 
only one which you might categorize in that group. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Chamberlain, all of the Superman national comic 
magazines carry a statement about the editorial advisory board, do 
they not ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is correct. 

Mr. Beaser. Showing that Dr. Lauretta Bender, Josette Frank, Dr. 
W. W. D. Sones, Dr. S. Harcourt Peppard, are members of the ad- 
visory board of the Superman comics group. 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is correct. 

Mr. Beaser. They are still members? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. What actually are their duties insofar as content of 
your Superman comic group publication is concerned? 

Mr. Chamberlain. In contrast to our former witness, Mr. Freed- 
man, I am not an authority on all branches of this industry. I am 
at the national distributing end of it and I do not feel that I am 
qualified to tell you their exact duties. I do not know. 

Mr. Beaser. They act as advisers to the corporation; is that it? 

Mr. Chamberlain. I understand that they do, sir, but I cannot tell 
you their exact duties. 

The Chairman. The Chair wishes to interrupt counsel at the mo- 

I am happy to announce the arrival of my distinguished colleague, 
the Senator from Missouri, Mr. Hennings. 

Senator Hennings. Thank you. I had to come all the way from 
Danville, Va., for this hearing and I am sorry to be late today. 

The Chairman. All right. Counsel, you may proceed. 

Mr. Beaser. Then you do not know the standards which are fol- 
lowed in deciding what content goes into the Superman group? 

Mr. Chamberlain. There is a veiy definite and spelled-out code 
that is followed by our editors and our artists, in preparing the mate- 
rial for the Superman, D. C, or National Comic group. 

Mr. Beaser. How is that code arrived at? 

Mr. Chamberlain. It was arrived at, I believe, by this board of 

Mr. Beaser. Does this board screen the comics? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Again I am not qualified to answer that posi- 


Mr. Beaser. You do not know whether they make suggestions from 
time to time ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. I believe they do, but again I am not positive. 

Mr. Beaser, Now, the type of material I have noticed in the Super- 
man group differs considerably from the type of material in the maga- 
zines distributed by the Independent News Co., despite the fact that 
the tliree owners are the same. Can you account for the incongruity 
of setting up an advisory board for one operation, and then distribut- 
ing material such as is contained in Black Magic or Frankenstein, and 
so forth ? 

Mr. Chamberlaix. We must admit that it is incongruous because 
of tliis : We are in the Independent News Co., a national distributing 
outfit. It is true that we are a subsidiary concern of National Comics, 
Inc. ; we represent a number of publishers other than those that pub- 
lish comic magazines. 

' We do have a set of standards by which we guide ourselves in the 
magazines that we distribute to the Independent News Co. We have, 
and many times in the past, refused to distribute certain magazines 
that have been presented to us by our present publishers. That has 
happened in the past 8 or 10 months, as a matter of fact. 

Mr. Beaser. Which magazines were those, do you know? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Not in the comic-book field. They are outside 
the comic-book field. 

However, when tliis first investigation came to New York, of your 
committee, we sat down and discussed the entire matter, and it was 
decided at that time that we would eliminate through the news com- 
pany any magazines that we felt bordered on the type tliat you were 
investigating. We do not feel that even these magazines are the 
worst in the field, but they do border on your weird, fantastic group 
that you are investigating, and we have eliminated them and they are 
off the market, or will be in the next 30 days. Titles such as "Frank- 
enstein," "Out of the Night," "Forbidden Worlds," and one which you 
do not have there, "Clutching Hand," have been killed. 

Mr. Ijeaser, Killed in what way? 

Mr. Chamberlain. They no longer will be published or distributed 
on the newsstands. 

Mr. Beaser. They have gone out of business ; is that it ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. The publisher, for example, the American 
Comics group, has not gone out of business, but they nre not going 
to publish Forbidden Worlds, or Out of the Night any more, 

Mr. Beaser. They decided that they would not do it and you decided 
you would not distribute it? 

Mr, Chamberlain. That is correct. 

Mr. Beaser. What otliers have you decided not to distribute ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. In the case of Adventures Into the Unknown, 
the editorial content of that is to be changed to bring it entirely out 
of the realm of the present editorial content. The title will remain 
the same for the time being. They will gradually try to work the 
title off. 

The same holds true for Black Magic, wherein the editorial content 
will be changed completely. 

Those are the only changes that are being made in the magazines 
which you have presented before me. 


Mr. Beaser. And any of the other magazines that you carry — crime 
and horror comics ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. We don't have any others. In fact, I think you 
have inchided a number here, sir, that do not fall in this category. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, let me get the process straight. You sat down 
with Mr. Bleier and Mr. Epstein, of Prize Comics. 

Mr. Chamberlain. Correct. 

Mr. Beaser. And you told them you would no longer carry — this 
is since we held our hearing? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. You would no longer carry Black Magic? 

Mr. Chamberlain. We would no longer carry Frankenstein, and 
he must change the editorial content of Black Magic, or we will not 
distribute it. 

Mr. Beaser. Let me get a little bit into the publishing mechanism. 
Does the editor of Black Magic submit the copy of Black Magic 
for October to you before it is sent to the printer ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, he does not. He submits it to his pub- 
lisher. His publisher, Bleier & Epstein, knows of the standards by 
which Independent News Co. operates. 

There have been times that material got into a magazine, and we 
did not know of it until after the magazine had been printed and 
shipped, and it was then a case of just trying to mend bridges and 
reprimanding the editor and the artist to see that it would not occur 

Mr. Beaser. Actually, the first time you see the magazine is after 
it is printed? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is right, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. You see no draft copy before ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, what kinds of standards then do you set up with 
respect to Mr. Bleier and Mr. Epstein ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Mr. Bleier and Mr. Epstein have been pub- 
lishers of comic magazines since 1940, I believe. Their first comic 
was Prize Comics, which is still being published. 

We became their national distributors in 1941 or 1942. I am not 
sure of the exact date. They have been associated in those 12 or 13 
years with our company, and have become familiar with the standard 
or the type of merchanclise that we will distribute for them. 

I would like to recall that they distributed "Frankenstein" about 
1946. We got after them about the type of material in the magazine 
and they changed it to a humorous type of character, they made 
"Frankenstein" the goat of children's play. 

When they did it, the magazine died, the magazine did not sell, and 
they discontinued it. 

Mr. Beaser. That was when, sir ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That was about 1948. It was revived again just 
a few years ago and now it has gone again. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, let me ask you one question about Mr. Bleier 
and Mr. Epstein. They publish just comics; is that it? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir; they do publish a romance magazine. 
They publish a magazine called Man's Life. 

Mr. Beaser. They also publish books ? 


Mr. Chamberlain. Not to my knowledge, not through our company. 

Mr. Eraser. You would not distribute books ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Let me go through the process which you have done 
with the American Comics group. 

Mr. Chambeilun. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser, There is a relationship there, I gather, between Mr. 
Iger and one of the owners of the National Comics group ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is right. 

]\Ir. Beaser. You went through the same process and sat down with 
Mr. Iger and Mr. Sanger and told them certain magazines would not 
be carried? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is correct. 

Mr. Beaser. They agreed to kill those magazines ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. Are they going to substitute others for them ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That very possibly will be done. 

Mr. Beaser. Are they going to adopt the code that the Superman 
group has adopted? 

Mr. Chamberlain. I can't speak for them on that point. Let me 
say this, that they publish right now magazines such as Ha Ha and 
Giggle Comics, which are the animated type of comic, along with 
some teen-age comics, of which "Cookie" is one. 

They do hold a very high standard in that type of comic, but they 
have had these three comics in their line. 

I might say this, that the reason for those comics was not because 
they are out to frighten children. They were asked by some distribu- 
tors, Mr. Iger and Mr. Sanger, "Why don't you put out a comic like 
this ? They are selling." 

The reason that that type of material has sold, I believe, is the 
tremendous amount of publicity that has been given to the weird and 
horror comics. 

The good class, clean comic, has been hurt by the publicity given to 
these comics. 

In other words, there has not been enough complimentary remarks 
passed on good clean comic reading. 

The Chairman. Mr. Chamberlain, do you mean to imply that the 
publicity came from this subcommittee ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir; I don't mean that at all, sir. It has 
come over the past 3 or 4 years. 

The Chairman. I was sure that that was not your intention. 

Senator Hennings. In further development of the point which the 
Senator has raised, from what sources did you expect this comment 
relating to the clean comics to come, or from what sources had you 
hoped it might come? 

Mr, Chamberlain, Well, sir, as you probably know, there are many 
groups across the United States and Canada who have set themselves 
up as censors, as bodies to determine what is good or bad for the 
youngsters to read, and too often, is the case, that they say, this is 
bad, but they make no comment whatsoever as to what is good or 
where the publishers should be praised for their work in trying to 
put out good, decent literature. 

Senator Hennings, The comment is negative, rather than positive 
as it relates to all of the field? 


Mr. Chamberlain. That is correct, sir. 

Senator Hennings. Thank you. 

The Chairman. The good is taken for granted. 

Mr. Chamberlain. Or comdemned by insinuations that all comics 
are bad. 

The Chairman. Counsel, you may proceed. 

Mr. Beaser. But actually, Mr. Chamberlain, the crime and horror 
comics would not have been published had there not been a market? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is correct. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, you w^ould not throw 300,000 copies of 
a magazine out just on the chance that some remarks would be made 
that would indicate 

Mr. Chamberlain. You are absolutely correct in that, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Also, is it not true that the type of material which has 
appeared in Adventures into the Unknown is quite different from 
that which you would permit in your House of Mystery? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is right, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Despite the fact that you distribute both ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. Despite the fact you have an advisory committee for 
one and not the other ? 

Mr. Chambeflain. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. Incidentally, will the same advisory committee work 
with the American Comic group ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir; not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you know whether other distributors are doing the 
same thing with the publishers of crime and horror magazines ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir; I cannot speak for the other distribu- 

Mr. Beaser. Is not that one way of getting the odium off the good 
and onto the bad ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. It certainly is, very definitely is. We feel we 
do not want to be subject to any criticism by this committee, or any 
other committee, for that matter, in the comic magazines that we dis- 
tribute. The Superman comics, or National Comic as we call them, 
are one of the biggest groups in the country. We have a lot at stake 
in this business and we want to do the best thing possible for the comic 

That is why we have taken this step with our outside publishers. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, Independent News Distributors own no comics ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Other types of magazines ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. If I am a wholesaler in New York City and you are 
supplying me through the Independent News Co. with magazines, 
what do you do — do you send me a list of magazines that will be pub- 
lished a. id ask me how many I want? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir. The basic fundamental rules of dis- 
tribution in the magazine industry is that the national distributor, 
the Independent News Co., gets together with its publisher and de- 
cides upon a national print order, which is a national distribution. 

We then lay out, based on sales figures which we maintain in our 
office, a distribution to all of the various wholesalers around the 


United States and Canada. We decide upon what quantity we shall 
send to any given town. 

Mr. Beaser. I get no choice as a wholesaler ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir. That allotment is set up, based on the 
sales in your own agency of either that particular magazine or similar 
type m;)gazines. It is done with names, of getting the most sales 
possible out of the initial print order set up. 

You can, however, and it is done many times over by the whole- 
salers — if they feel they have gotten too few or too many of any 
given number, they write, wire, or refuse to accept their complete al- 

Mr. Beaser. If I am a wholesaler and return to you some of these 
magazines you send, crime and horror, do you keep a service charge 
in any event ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. We have no service charge at all. 

Mr. Beaser. Is that a practice in the industry ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is a practice only as a service between 
Mr. AVb.olesaler and Mr. News Dealer. 

Mr. Beaser. But not between the distributor and the wholesaler? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. There is no financial loss to me because you sent me 
too many magazines? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, how does this come? Does it come in a bundle? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes, comics generally are packed in cartons 
rather than in paper bundles. 

Mr. Beaser. las one of your wholesalers will get a bundle generally 
mixed up with different ■ 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Each will be separate? 

Mr. Chamberlain. You will get a shipment of Superman comics, 
a thousand comics or five hundred. 

Mre. Beaser. I can reject those without rejecting others? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is right, sir. 

The Chairman. You are referring only to the publications that you 
handle ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. I am speaking for the Independent News Co. ; 
yes, sir. But I can tell you that it is a general practice of the trade, 

Mr. Beaser. Since you are wholly owned there, it is really difficult 
to ask about the relationship between you and the publisher. Do the 
publishers have a service charge? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. There is no breakage that anyone gains on sending too 
many comics out? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. One further question on the distribution. Actually, 
then — I suppose it would be you, the Independent News Co. — who 
decides what publications will be published? 

Mr. Chamberlain. What publications we will distribute. We have 
been offered in the course of the last month some 12 or 14 publications, 
publishers who have an idea for a magazine, not necessarily a comic, 
although a couple of them were comics, and they come to us and ask 
us if we will distribute their publications for them. 


Mr. Beaser. As a wholesaler, the first time I find out anything about 
it is when the magazines arrive on my shelf. 

Mr. Chamberlain. When we send you an announcement that we 
are distributing X magazine. 

Mr. Beaser. I am not asked whether I want it. I am told I am 
going to get it. 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is correct, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you have any financial arrangements between your- 
self, the Independent News Co., and the Prize Comics ? 

In other words, do you advance them funds so that they can pub- 
lish their magazines? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Not in the sense that you present it. Let me 
say this: I don't know that this specifically holds true for Prize 
Comics, but it would hold true perhaps for another company, but on 
delivery of copies, we may advance to them a percentage of the dollar 
value of the magazines that they are delivering to us. That per- 
centage can run from zero to 25 percent. If it were as high as 25 
percent, that certainly is not going to pay for the cost of production 
of their magazine. 

But that is just a bond between us that we believe we will sell at 
least that number of copies. 

Mr. Beaser. The printing bills are paid by the publisher ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. By the publisher. 

Mr. Beaser. You do not guarantee or advance money for printing 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. In what countries are your magazines distributed out- 
side the United States ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. We go all over the world pretty much. Of 
course, Canada is the main country. We are in Mexico; we are in 
South America. We have some comics that go to South America. 

Mr. Beaser. Cuba? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Cuba. 

Mr. Beaser. Canal Zone ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Puerto Rico? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Virgin Islands? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. Turkey? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Japan, Germany? 

Senator HennincxS. Are these books you send to the foreign coun- 
tries done in the foreign language? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No ; the English edition. 

Senator Hennings. I have seen some of them in foreign languages. 

Mr. Chamberlain. We do have a foreign department that does sell 
the right to print Superman or one of the other characters in a foreign- 
language edition. 

Senator Hennings. They are printed abroad in those instances? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. What is sent abroad, the plates, the mats? How does 
it work? 


Mr. Cpiambeelain. In these countries you mentioned to me just 

Mr. Beaser. Yes. 

Mr. Chamberlain. We ship the actual copies you can buy here in 
New York City or any other place in the country. 

Mr. Beaser. Your foreign outfit would send what? 

Mr. Chamberlain. I believe they would ship them mats. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, there have been some comments made concerning 
American comics, crime and horror crimes, in other countries. Are 
you aware of those? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. I bring it up with you, sir, because they mentioned 
specifically the Superman. And this was in the House of Commons 
in England about a year and a half ago in w^hich it was said : 

That there was a considerable market for this type of horror and sadistic 
literature, literature which glorifies the brute, literature which undermines the 
law simply because it su.ugests that the Superman is the person who should take 
the law into his own hands and mete out justice in his own way. The most 
sinister thing about these publications is that they introduce the element of 
pleasure into violence. They encourage sadism, and they encourage sadism in 
association with an unhealthy sexual stimulation. 

Do you screen in any way the materials you send abroad insofar 
as they may have an adverse reaction toward American foreign 

Mr. Chamberlain. As the Independent News Co., we do not. 

I again cannot tell you what they do upstairs. As far as I know 
they ship the actual mats of the magazines that are sold here in the 
United States. 

Mr. Beaser. They make no attempt to say these do not portray the 
United States in a favorable position ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That I cannot tell you. 

Senator Hennings. In other w^ords, I assume the general attitude 
is that if we are strong enough here to take it in the United States, our 
friends abroad should be able to take it. 

In other words, you would not, sir, say, as counsel has suggested, 
this is all right to distribute in New^ York City and San Francisco; 
we should not have anything like this going to Paris and London ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir; as far as my knowledge goes of the 
foreign market, we have a foreign representative that must go over 
and present this package or this item to the various people in that 
country, to first of all get a man who will buy it and, secondly, get the 
Government to allow them to get the dollar exchange for that item. 

So I believe there is some sort of censorship or some sort of control 
exercised on what is distributed in those countries. 

Again, I am not familiar with it and I cannot discuss it in detail. 

Mr. Beaser. We have just put up on the board examples of some 
foreign-language comic books. Are any of those distributed by you? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes, sir. This Ga Ga. That is Ha Ha Comics. 
I think that is Romantic Adventure up there, if I am not mistaken. 

Mr. Beaser. That is one of your love comics? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes, that is put out by American Comics group. 
I don't recognize any of the others. Yes, down in this corner is Ad- 
ventures Into the Unknown. 

Mr. Beaser. In the left-hand corner? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes. 


Mr. Beaser. That is the one you are not going to publish any more ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is the one that is being changed editorially. 

Mr, Beaser. To meet yonr new standards? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Correct. 

INIr. Beaser. Has it happened in the past, as far as the United 
States is concerned in the distribution, that you have conditioned the 
sale of Superman comics on conditions that the wholesaler take a 
certain specified number of the comics that you also distribute ? 

Mr. Chamberlain, xlbsolutely not. 

Mr. Beaser. You have never tied in Superman with the other 
comics ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is not known in our industry, believe me. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you wholesalers who take just the Superman 
and do not take the other comics ? 

Mr. Chajmberlain. We do not have wholesalers that take just one. 
We have many wholesalers that do not handle our complete line. They 
select what they want, but the wholesaler could not stay in business 
handling one comic. 

Mr. Beaser. I meant the Superman line. 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes, we do have some wholesalers that handle 
the Superman line. 

Mr. Beaser. They still get as many as they want of the Superman 
book ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. I have no further questions. 

The Chairman. The Chair has no questions, but on behalf of the 
committee, I want to thank you for your appearance here this 

]\Ir. Chamberlain. Might I make one statement, sir. 

The Chairman. You may. 

Mr. Chamberlain. There has been a great deal of talk at this 
hearing this morning about tie-in sales from a wholesaler level to a 
dealer level. I want to very definitely speak out our part in that 

There is no such thing as tie-in sales. I would like to demonstrate 
it to you gentlemen in a very few moments, by a trip to any one of 
the agencies in the New York area, where we can show you that the 
retailer does not maintain all of the magazines that might be shipped 
to him by his wholesaler. 

I can show you that there are 400 or 500 comic magazines distributed 
in the United States today. There are, I believe, that many titles 
and you can verify that. 

The Chairman. Are they distributed monthly; is that correct? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir; there are 500 active titles, but there 
are approximately, I believe, 250 distributed a month. The average 
newsstand in the United States carries about 65 comic titles, and that 
is a national survey that we continue day in and day out, so that the 
average dealer could not possibly be forced to hold and display and 
try to sell the 500 comics that are distributed, no less be forced to try 
to sell the thousands of magazines and books that he receives during 
the course of a month. 

We had an experience just yesterday where our wholesaler in Cleve- 
land, Ohio, called me to tell me that, because of the adverse publicity 


toward comic magazines that appeared in the paper in Cleveland, he 
had one of his larger dealers who operates 4 or 5 supermarket out- 
lets, and who is doing a tremendous volume on comics, call him up 
and discontinue all comics. 

He said he would not be bothered by trying to disseminate what was 
good and what was bad. 

Our wholesaler could do nothing about it. He had to take out all 
of the comics that the man was handling, and he was selling a vast 
quantity of them. 

Our wholesaler had been very cautious about the type of comics he 
put into that supermarket, but, you see, his hands were tied. 

Now, gentlemen, if there is such a tiling as tie-in sales, he could say, 
^'You must keep them in there. You must sell those good clean 
€omics," but he can't even do that. 

So how in the world can a statement be made that he can force a 
retailer to handle a specific title or a horror title or anything that you 
choose. It just is not done; it can't be done in this business. It is 
not done from a national newsstand level, and it is not done from a 
local wholesale level. 

The Chairman. You are speaking for all distributors when you 
say that? 

Mr. Chamberlain. I am giving you clear-cut examples; yes, sir, 
for all distributors. 

The Chairman. Did you hear Mr. Freedman's example? 

Mr. Chamhlelain. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Do you dispute that testimony ? 

Mr. CHAMiiERLAiN. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Do you dispute the testimony of a man who ac- 
tually has daily contact with this problem? 

Mr. Chamberlain. I dispute it; yes, sir. He cannot be forced and 
has never been forced to handle and try to sell any or all magazines 
that he receives from any source of distribution. That we cannot do 
that with any retailer in the United States. 

As I say, you can have visual evidence of it in any wholesale agency 
you go into, or newsstand you choose to visit. I think you will find 
by the courthouse here there are many news dealers that handle 10 
titles, and that is all they can accept, because they are open for just a 
short portion of the day's business and they will only handle a very 
limited number of titles. 

The Chairman. Why do you suppose the legislatures of two great 
States of this country, the great State of New York — I am reminded 
there are three — the great State of New York, my own State of New 
Jersey, and I am proud to say I think it is a great State, have passed 
laws to control these tie-in sales, if there have not been tie-in sales? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Because, sir, I say that you have had testimony 
to the effect that there are definitely tie-in sales, but I do not believe 
that you can produce factual evidence to prove that there have been 
tie-in sales in this business. 

Senator Henntngs. Do you mean in any instance whatsover? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Well, you may find an isolated case where an 
overzealous routeman, for example, w^ent in and demanded that a 
dealer handle certain things. However, if you. go to that wholesaler 
who that routeman Avorks for, you will get the clear story of what 
goes on in our business. 


I know I can speak with authority on that, sir, because I was a 
wholesaler myself for a number of years in the State of Massachusetts. 
I know just what went on there. I know what is going on today. 

Mr. Beaser. I have one question, sir. 

You say that it is not possible for the wholesaler through this 
method of delaying credits to force a dealer to carry whatever the 
wholesaler wants him to carry. You heard Mr. Freedman? 

Mr. Chamberlain. Yes. I am familiar with this delay in credits 
in New York City. It is not a situation that pertains to Mr. Freed- 
man. It pertains to the 1,400 news dealers serviced by the Manhattan 
News Co. and it pertains to the 16 or 17 publishers that supply Man- 
hattan News with magazines. It is not a case of forcing magazines. 
They are behind in credits, both in getting the magazines to us and 
in getting the credits to their retailer, just in the process of sorting 
them, they are behind in that, and that is what has caused this picture. 

Mr. Beaser. It puts an incentive on no return ? 

Mr. Chamberlain. No, sir ; every magazine is sold, fully returnable. 

Mr. Beaser. I mean the delay in getting credit would mean that 
your money is tied up for a longer period. 

Mr. Chamberlain. That is a peculiar situation just as of the mo- 
ment. The normal process is that a dealer gets credit the following 
week on his statement. That goes on all over the United States. 

You are speaking of a local situation here which is peculiar to the 

Mr. Beaser. No further questions. 

The Chairman. Mr. Chamberlain, thank you very much for your 
appearance here. I commend you for your testimony. 

Counsel will call the next witness. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Charles Appel. 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you are 
about to give before this subcommittee of the Committee on the Ju- 
diciary of the United States Senate will be the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Appel. I do. 


The Chairman. Will you state your full name, address, and associa- 
tion for the record, please? 

Mr. Appel. My name is Charles Appel, 240 East Butler, St. Paul, 

The Chairman. The subcommittee wants to thank you for coming 
all the way here this morning to testify and give us the benefit of your 

Mr. Appel. I am a pharmacist, and I own the Angus Drug Store, 380 
Selby Street, St. Paul. 

Mr. Beaser. How long have you been a pharmacist? 

Mr. Appel. Since 1929. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you carry any magazines at your pharmacy ? 

Mr. Appel. Yes; we do. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you carry the crime and horror-type comic books? 

Mr. Appel. No; we do not. 

Mr. Beaser. Did you at any time? 

Mr. Appel. We received them, but returned them at all times. 


Mr. Beaser. What happened when you returned them? 

Mr. Appel. We were given credit for them. 

Mr. Beaser. Was there' any retribution ? 

Mr. Appel. Not until the I7th of March. 

Mr. Beaser. This year, you mean ? 

Mr. Appel. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. What happened the I7th of March, this year ? 

Mr. Appel. I received a bundle of magazines and one of the titles 
was missing. The TV Guide for our community was missing. 

Mr. Beaser. You did not get any TV Guides at all ? 

Mr. Appel. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. What happened ? 

Mr. Appel. When the route checker came in I asked him what was 
the idea. I checked across the street and they had received theirs. 
He called the office and they said I was not to receive them because 
I had not paid my bill. 

Mr. Beaser. Had you paid your bill ? 

Mr. Appel. My bill was current ; it was $200. 

Mr. Beaser. What happened then, sir? 

Mr. xVppel. So I explained to them I was running my business and 
if they wanted to run a business, buy a drugstore of their own ; other- 
wise i wanted the magazines the way I ordered them, not the way 
they felt to send them. 

Mr. Beaser. Did you get them ? 

Mr. Appel. No, I did not. I had them pick up the balance of their 
distribution and paid them their bill. 

Mr. Beaser. What happened subsequent to that ? 

Mr. Appel. Subsequent to that the city council took it up, the State 
took it up, and passed a resolution against the literature. 

Now, what they have done is that they have continuously snowed 
us under with books we do not order. I have invoices here for a 
number of months, and the percentages of the magazines that we can 
sell that they send us is so small compared to what we have to count, 
check, handle, it is not worth while handling. 

Mr. Beaser. Do they charge you anything for the handling, or do 
you get full credit? 

Mr. Appel. They have a weekly service charge for counting maga- 
zines on your rack and deciding how many of each you shall get. 

Mr. Beaser. Who does that, the route man ? 

Mr. Appel. The route man. 

Mr. Beaser. He comes in and counts how many magazines you have ? 

Mr. Appel. Of certain numbers. He takes spot numbers, how many 
we have, and we give him the figures of how many we have sold. 

INIr. Beaser. Is that service charge based on the number of maga- 
zines you carry? 

Mr. Appel. No, I believe each dealer pays the same amount, 50 
cents a week. 

Mr. Beaser. So at the present moment you are no longer carrying 
crime and horror comics ? 

Mr. Appel. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. You also are not carrying the TV Guide ? 

Mr. Appel. Nor Header's Digest or Saturday Evening Post, or other 
leading publications which we want. 


Mr. Beaser. Because you could not get one without the other; is 
that it? 

Mr. Appel. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. That was a local wholesaler ? 

Mr. Appel. We call them distributor. 

Mr. Beaser. In Minneapolis? 

Mr. Appel. In St. Paul. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, as a result of this the city council passed what 
kind of resolution? 

Mr. Appel. Banning sale of obscene and indecent literature. The 
State passed a resolution. 

Mr. Beaser. That is the State Association of Pharmacists ? 

Mr. Appel. Yes. 

The Chairman. May the Chair interrupt counsel to announce the 
arrival of the Honorable E. D. Fulton, member of the House of Com- 
mons of our great neighbor to the north, the Dominion of Canada. 

Mr. Fulton, we welcome you here, and in due time we will have 
your story before the subcommittee. It is a great privilege to have 
you here. 

Mr. FuLTOX. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I am very glad to be here. 

The Chairman. All right, Counsel, you may proceed. 

Mr. Beaser. That is one method of proof, I gather, that tie-in sales 
with crime and horror comics do exist ? 

Mr. Appel. Tie-in sales with what they want to send you is definitely 
proved, I believe. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you any suggestions as to how those tie-in sales 
can be avoided ? 

Mr. Appel. I have made an agreement with the other company who 
who brought in a list. They allowed me to pick up what I would 
accept. They will send me according to their record as many as I 
need to cover my sales. 

Mr. Beaser. How do jou do that? Do you do that once a month 
or once a week ? 

Mr. Appel. This is after a number of years of wrangling; I told 
them either to do that or I would have to throw out the magazines. 
So the American News came in with a list of approximately 80 maga- 
zines. I accepted all but 17. 

The Chairman. You say the American News ? 

Mr. Appel. The American News. The Minnesota News is the local 

Mr. Beaser. The other company was what ? 

Mr. Appel. The other company never came around. They would 
not listen to me on that basis. That w^as the St. Paul News. 

Mr. Beaser. You are now ordering magazines, a number of maga- 
zines, solely on title rather than content ? You know the magazines ? 

Mr. Appel. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. I have no other questions. 

The Chairman. Senator Hennings? 

Senator Hennings. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. I have no questions. 

I want to thank you for your presence here this morning. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Chairman, he has some documents which he wants 
to leave with us, the invoices. May we have those for the record ? 

49632 — 54 16 


The Chairman. Without objection, the documents will be made 
part of the record of the subcommittee. 

Mr. Appel. I would like to explain them. I have statements here 
from the 24th of February to the 3d of March, including the 3d of 
March. I received about $140 worth of magazines. Of that group, I 
had to return $80.87 worth showing that they just snow you under with 
amounts of magazines. 

The Chairman. Will you have any need for these ? 

Mr. Appel. No, I am through business with this fellow. 

The Chairman. They will be made a part of the subcommittee's 
file. Let that be exhibit No. 29. 

(The documents referred to were marked "Exhibit No. 29," and are 
en file with the subcommittee.) 

Mr. Beaser. Have you any other documents you wish to show the 
subcommittee ? 

Mr. Appel. Letters from well wishers and what not. 

The Chah^man. Counsel, call the next witness. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. George B. Davis. 

The Chairman. Mr. Davis, you do not mind being sworn ? 

Mr. Davis. No, sir. 

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you are 
about to give to this subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary 
of the United States Senate, will be the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Davis. I do, sir. 

The Chairman. Mr. Davis, will you give your full name and ad- 
dress ? 



Mr. Davis. George B. Davis, 500 Fifth Avenue, Kable News Co. 

My home address, Crestwood, N. Y. 

The Chairman. Counsel, you may proceed. 

Mr. Beaser. What is your position with Kable ? 

Mr. Davis. President of Kable News Co. 

Mr. Beaser. Kable News Co. does what, sir ? 

Mr. Davis. They are national distributors of magazines and comics. 

Mr. Beaser. We have put up an exhibit there, sir, of various kinds 
of magazines which I think, from information furnished, are ones 
tliat you distribute ; is that right, sir ? 

Mr. Davis. That is correct. 1 think it is a pretty good representa- 
tion of what we have. 

Mr. Beaser. A very wide variety. 

Mr. Davis. I recognize that one there. 

Mr. Beaser. That is the inside of Frolic Magazine. 

Mr. Davis. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. How many magazines do you distribute in all ? 

Mr. Davis. I would say about 70, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. How many of those are comics ? 

Mr. Davis. About 40. 

Mr. Beaser. Of the comics, how many would be crime and horror? 

Mr. Davis. I have a breakdown, sir. We have 1 adventure, 3 de- 
tective, 7 western, 8 juvenile, 6 love, 3 satire, 2 war, and 10 weird. 


Now, you say horror and something else. I refer to them as weird. 
Mr. Beaser. Crime and horror. 
Mr. Davis. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, 25 percent of your total comics are 
of the weird variety ? 
]Mr. Davis. Eight. 

Mr. Beaser. How many are of the crime variety ? 
Mr. Davis. I imagine that would be what we refer to as detective ; 
is that right ? Three. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, let me ask you a bit about your distribution prac- 
tices, sir. 

Mr. Davis. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, as a wholesaler t get your complete line ; is that 
it, all this? 

Mr. Davis. No, sir ; you do not. If there is anything that we dis- 
tribute that the wholesaler does not want, he immediately refuses it 
and sends it back express collect. 
Mr. Beaser. Otherwise I get it ? 

Mr. Davis. Otherwise you would get it. My situation is similar 
to Mr. Chamberlain's, I imagine, that we are national distributors. 
There were quite a lot of distributors that have selected lists and they 
order what they please. They tell you if they want it or not. 

Mr. Beaser. How do I know as a wholesaler what is coming in 
in the next bundle ? 

Mr. Davis. We have advance billing and promotion pieces on most 
magazines, which is going out far in advance of the release. 
Mr. Beaser. What the content is likely to be ? 

Mr. Davis. Not exactly the content. Sometimes we play up the 
editorial. We have a promotion department telling what is in there ; 
yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. I get a notice from you saying on such and such a date 
Fantastic would be coming in? 
Mr. Davis. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. Am I asked to notify you by a certain date as to 
•whether I want Tab or Frolic ? 
Mr. Davis. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Do I have the option of notifying you ? 
Mr. Davis. You do. You can tell us you are not going to distribute 
it. You can tell us you you are sending it back express collect ; you 
can do anything you please. 

We have no restrictions on that, even though I may be honest and 
admit that we try to get a general distribution on practically every- 
thing we distribute. 

Mr. Beaser. The burden is put on me as a wholesaler, then, to get 
notice to you that I don't want your magazine ? 
Mr. Davis. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. How would I know about that if I were a wholesaler 
and you were distributing a new kind of magazine? Say Tops just 
came out and you sent me a brochure on Tops. How would I decide 
what is in it? 

Mr. Davis. Then you send a letter back, "Do not send Tops." 
Mr. Beaser. How would I know what is in Tops ? 
Mr. Davis. You wouldn't know, but a lot of wholesalers don't take 
new titles, regardless ; that is the freedom in the business. 


Mr. Beaser. If you have a wholesaler, for example, who says to you' 
he does not want Strange, Voo Doo, or your Danger, does he get as 
many copies of Hunting and Fishing? 

Mr. Davis. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. Kadio-Electronics ? 

Mr. Davis. Yes. We have no such powers in our line, anyway. In 
other words, that power is not used in this business. I think that is a 
far cry from the truth, about forcing stuff. Believe you me, some- 
times I wish I could force a little. 

I wnll give you a little typical example. I just happened to see my 
friend Sam Black over there, who will probably testify here, and this 
goes into comics and I think it is a very interesting story. We just took 
over a line of comics, the St. Johns' line of comics, and there were 40 
titles included in this group. 

We didn't notify the wholesalers — this was long in advance of our 
distribution, but Mr. Black found it out. He didn't think St. Johns' 
comics was such a good line. So he says, "Under no conditions send 
me any of St. Johns' comics." 

The thing that Mr. Black didn't know was this, that out of the 40 
comics that Mr. St. Johns had, we were only taking 18 which included 
nothing in the world but children's stuff and good, clean stuff like 
Aclventures of Mighty Mouse and all that Looney Tooney stuff, and 
Paul Terry's comic. 

Mr, Beaser. Where was St. Johns' distributing the others ? 

Mr. Davis. To the American News Co. I mean he was distributing 
all to them. We did take the line, eliminated 26 titles from the market 
and kept the good, clean comics that we could take. 

Now, I only cited that as an illustration to show the freedom of 
action in this business. 

Mr. Black says, "Don't send any," so, naturally, I am not going to 
send any, but when I have a chance to talk to him I will tell him the 
entire story. 

Mr. Beaser. Is there any breakage which inures to you by reason of 
the fact that you get a handling charge for any of the magazines ? 

Mr. Davis. No, sir; w^e get no handling charges, sir. We make a 
profit from our publishers on what is sold. 

Mr. Beaser. That is all. 

Mr. Davis. That is all. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, what standards do you utilize in determining 
what materials you will distribute, if any? 

Mr. Davis. That is a very important question ; a very nice one, a 
pointed question. There are publishers in this business that, like 
everybody else, kick their traces at times. I am not holding any brief 
for these fellows that go overboard. 

I think one thing wrong with most of these meetings is the fact that 
some of them don't seem to be quite honest with the answers. I think 
to a certain degree all of us at times may be guilty of overstepping our 

Now, in my position at the Kable News Co., I am solely responsible 
for what we distribute. Quite often I will take on a magazine that has 
a good title, but I am not too familiar with the editorial content. The 
publisher will tell me what the contents are, but when it comes time 
for distribution, it is all printed and gone before I get my advance 
copy, and then it is too late for me to do anything about it. 


Let me give you a couple of illustrations. A man, one of our pub- 
lishers, put out a comic last week. When I heard about it — I have been 
immobilized for a couple of months — I found out about it and I in- 
sisted he kill it immediately. I have had people look through the 
editorial content and can't find anything too wrong with it, but the 
title itself. 

Mr. Beaser. What is the name of it ? 

Mr, Davis. Tomb Horror. We killed it. I told the fellow not to 
print another one yesterday, when I heard about it. 

Mr. Beaser. How much ability have you to go through 70 maga- 
zines a month? 

Mr. Davis. It is not 70 a month. It is 70 titles. They can be bi- 
monthly. There will probably be a billing of 20 or 30 a month. Some 
quarterly, some annuals, some few monthlies. 

Mr. Beaser. How can you tell whether Haunted Thrills for May or 
June contains something that may or may not be harmful to children? 

Mr. Davis. I cannot. I can only go on my experience in the business. 

Now, as to what is harmful, some people have different definitions. 
I think I know as much about children as any man that has been in 
this courtroom yet, or this hearing yet, because I handled 86,000 for a 
good many years. 

Senator Hennings. Where was that? 

Mr. Davis. I had the Liberty boys' organization, the Macfadden 
Publications, which grew from nothing to 86,000 boys. We had little 
or no trouble. 

Senator Hennings. Wliat sort of groups were they? 

Mr. Davis. They were boy salesmen delivering Liberty to the homes 
of all the people, like the Saturday Evening Post magazine. 

W^e had a welfare organization. We had to closely supervise these 
boys, to see that they were home nights and everything else. 

I tell you one of our biggest special prizes in those days, strange as it 
may seem, was a jackknife. In the course of 7 years, we spent a million 
dollars on jackknives. 

Mr. Beaser. You think that none of the material in all your 

Mr. Davis. No, sir ; I wouldn't say that. I said that sometimes they 
will kick their traces. I will admit very honestly I have no chance 
to go through all of them. Believe me, I am just as anxious as anyone 
about this situation. If there are comics or any of them that have 
any bearing on the youngsters of this Nation, Mr. Campbell, the 
owner of my company, or myself, want no part in it, regardless of the 
money involved. This is not a fast dollar for us. 

Mr. Beaser. Actually nobody in your organization takes any re- 
sponsibility for the content of what is distributed ? 

Mr. Davis. I would say this, sir, that when we feel — now, I think 
if we are guilty of anything, we are guilty of the fact that we have 
not scrutinized them carefully enough, if you do find something wrong 
with ours, and that depends again on what you consider bad taste. 

Senator Hennings. You are speaking, sir, of just the comics which 
you distribute? 

Mr. Davis. Yes. 

Senator Hennings. You are not talking about some of the other 
magazines, the Gala, Scope, Suppressed ? 


Mr, Davis. That type of material lias very, very limited distribu- 
tion, sir. 

Senator Hennings. By limited distribution, Mr. Davis, what do 
you mean ? 

Mr. Davis. I mean it would ^o to three or four hundred towns; 
stuff like that. Wholesalers don't have to take that stuff. 

Senator Hennings. How many in numbers would you publish of 

Mr. Davis. Frolic would be about 100,000. 

Senator Hennings. A month? 

Mr. Davis. That is right. 

Senator Hennings. How long has it been in publication? 

Mr. Davis. It has been out for probably 7 or 8 years. 

Senator Hennings. It sells about 100,000 a month? 

Mr. Davis. No ; it does not sell 100,000. It sells about 65,000. 

Senator Hennings. Do you undertake to scrutinize the material 
that goes into such magazines as Frolic? 

Mr. Davis. I would not say at all times I do, but we have gone on 
Mr. Sumner's record here over the years in New York City. I think 
he made the statement, when this type of book was brought into 
court, that it was no more than what they are showing on these- 
Broadway shows. In fact, this girl shaking her shimmy there is right 
out of tlie Broadway show. I have seen her myself. That is the 
Tiger Girl in Kiss Me Kate. That is the same picture. 

Now, we have gone on that premise. And the beaches, also, for 
that matter; you can go to the Shoreham Hotel and see just as bad 
as that any time in Washington with a bunch of little gals around 

Senator Hennings. In other words, you suggest that the mores and 
general acceptance of what may be seen in Broadway shows or a 
nightclub or at the Shoreham Hotel, or any other hotel, is the criterion 
by which you would determine which of these publications should be 

Mr. Da^^s. That has been my thinking, sir, but I will make one 
thing very clear here, that I am not the publisher, sir. 

Senator Hennings. I understand that. 

Mr. Davis. I may also say that the publisher of Gala also publishes 
such type books as Movie Spotlight, Movie Play, and Movie Time. 
It is not just one house of so-called girlie books. 

Senator Hennings. Now, as the distributor, then, have you ever 
told any of the publishers, for example, that you would not take for 
distribution a magazine such as Suppressed ? 

Mr. Da\is. No, sir; we would take Suppressed, and be glad to 
have it. 

Senator Hennings. Have you ever refused to take any that have 
been offered to you? 

Mr. Davis. Yes, sir; many, sir. For instance, I may point out 
that in dealing with St. Johns' comics, he had some comics there 
that we didn't care about putting out. We took 18 of what we con- 
sidered the best. 

I don't think there is any better than that line — Looney Tooney 
group, or Paul Terry, or Mighty Mouse group. 

Senator Hennings. AVhat was your yardstick of judgment as to the 
comics that you refused to take ? 


Mr. Davis. I will tell you the judgment is this: Probably his were 
no worse than the rest of them. 

It seems to me that it is going just a little too far, honestly, this 
comic business. I am not sitting here trying to tell you I don't 
think so. Honestly, I believe it is. 

They are sticking their necks out a mile and a half. As far as 
we are concerned, we are going to be very, very careful about this, 
even more than in the past. 

Now, I cannot reconcile several things here. No one has shown 
me yet — I want to be convinced myself — wherein a comic has caused 
any particular crime or has anything to do with this crime business. 

Senator Hennings. We are not trying to make that case, Mr. Davis, 
as you know. 

Mr. Davis. I am asking for my own information. 

Senator Hennings. May I say for your information, sir, and with 
the permission of the Chairman, that we have said at the outset of 
these hearings, sir, that this committee has no preconceived views 
about this. We are not, in other words, presenting the state's case. 
We are trying to find out if there is any impact in this, and if so, to 
what extent, and what should be done about it if it exists. 

Mr. Davis. I will agree that this thing has gone a little too far, 
but I do agree also that the industry in itself should get together 
and do a little fine-combing here. 

The Chairman. The committee agrees with that statement. 

Mr. Davis. Because this industry can ba ruined by the other side 
of the fence also. By having committees review newsstands and 
pull out good magazines. I published a magazine several years ago 
called the Ideal Woman. The feature story in it was Mary Pick- 
ford's Why Not Try God, Christian Science Business. This book 
of mine was put on the list circulated in the entire country as being 
indecent literature. 

As far as I am concerned it is still on there. That was 10 years ago. 
The thing has been dead 10 years. 

Some of the committees go overboard. Are they capable and do 
they know the right things? If we had some smart people that knew 
what it is all about to go out — I am not saying they are not smart, but 
to do some little fine recommendations, I think the industry would 
be much better off. 

Senator Hennixgs. Why is not the industry itself capable of regu- 
lating itself? 

Mr. Davis. I have heard some statements made here that make this 
industry look ridiculous. You asked a man if something looks hor- 
rible, he said, "No, if there is no blood dripping out it is not horrible." 

Senator Hennings. For example, Mr. Mystery, is that one of your 
publications, sir? 

Mr. Davis. Yes, sir. 

Senator Hennings. Do you think that is a rather pleasant example ? 

Mr. Davis. You mean the cover ? 

Senator Hennings. Human heads boiling in a vat, that amiable 
gentleman sewing one of them with a needle and thread. 

Mr. Davis. It is so horrible it is comical. I would not agree that 
is in good taste ; no, sir. 

Senator Hennings. Here is another, the Weird Chills. 

Mr. Davis. That is one of mine. 


Senator Henninos. That apparently lives up to its name. You 
take a look at that picture. 

Mr. Davis. Pretty bad, pretty bad. 

The Chairman. While you are up here, will you take a look at some 
of those ads? Have you ever read the advertisements in the maga- 
zine Gala? 

Mr. Davis. No, sir ; I am afraid I haven't. 

The Chairman. It would seem to the Chair that your industry 
ought to look into those ads because they support the magazine appar- 

Mr. Davis. I will look into it myself. 

The Chairman. Those ads are pretty horrible to me. 

Senator Hennings. If the chairman will allow me again, here is 
Weird Terror. Of course, a lot of these things are in the realm of 
judgment and taste. Some may be suggested to be no worse than 
some of the more imaginative illustrators of the tales of Edgar Allen 
Poe, but some of them seem to go beyond ordinary imaginative artistic 
representation, even of horror. 

Mr. Davis. I will give you a little argument as to what these fellows 
tell me when I holler about those things. Well, kids on Halloween 
go out here, put on all kinds of funny faces, tombstones around them, 
and everything. 

In my opinion they make those things so ridiculous, they really get 
to be laughable, they really do. 

The Chairman. You never before have looked at those ads inside 
the publications you distributed ? 

Mr. Davis. No, sir. I think our publishers could probably give you 
more information on that, sir, than I could. I could certainly notify 
them if you would like them to testify here. 

The Chairman. I would like to note for the record that a sample 
of these ads, there are 2 or 3 samples, will be written into the record. 
Let that be exhibit No. 30. 

(The ads referred to were marked "Exhibit No. 30," and read as 
follows : ) 


The kind you will enjoy. Each one of these booklets is size 3% by 4^2 and is 
illustrated with S-page cartoon illustrations of comic characters and is full of fun 
and entertainment. Twenty of these booklets all different sent prepaid in a 
sealed envelope upon receipt of $1. No checks or C. O. D. orders accepted. 

(Name of company) 

(Address of company) 


Sell our illustrated comic booklets and other novelties. Each booklet size 
4% X 2% and is fully illustrated. We will send 24 assorted booklets prepaid upon 
receipt of $1 or 60 assorted booklets sent [jrepaid upon receipt of $2. Wholesale 
novelty price list sent with order only. No orders sent C. O. D. Sand cash or 
money order. 

(Name of company) 

(Address of company) 



Our vest pocket series of illustrated comic booklets are tbe kind that are fully 
illustrated with comic characters. The novelties are the kind you want for ex- 
citement and amusement. 16 different booklets and 4 different novelties sent 
prepaid in sealed envelope on receipt of $1. No C. O. D. orders or check accepted. 
Wholesale price list included with orders only. 

(Name of company) 

(Address of company) 

Mr. Davis. I don't think it is necessary for that magazine there to 
survive on that type of ad or any other magazine. If it can't go with- 
out that type of ad it should not go at all. 

Senator Hennings. Where are these mostly sold? 

Mr. Davis. That would be sold on Broadway here, sir. 

Senator Hennings. In what kind of establishments in cities outside 
of New York ? 

Mr. Davis. I would say outside of New York most any time it would 
be a downtown corner stand — traffic, soldiers, sailors, to every working 

Senator Hennings. This would not go by and large to the drug- 
stores ? 

Mr. Davis. No, sir. By and large it would not go to the neighbor- 
hood. It would be a mistake to go in there. 

Senator Hennings. The chain food stores ? 

Mr. Davis. No, sir. 

Senator Hennings, You would not distribute it to such outlets ? 

Mr. Davis. That is quite right. That would have a high-spot dis- 

Senator Hennings. You would not consider it good business judg- 
ment, as a matter of fact, to put these in drugstores ? 

Mr. Davis. You hold up Suppressed and Gala. I put both Sup- 
pressed and Gala in a different category. 

Senator Hennings. This is Frolic I am holding. 

Mr. Davis. That is a girlie book. That is around the honky-tonks, 
in places where they are drinking, you know, just a general downtown 
section of the town. 

It would not go to the suburban section. It would go where the 
men congregate. 

Senator Hennings. This, for example, has the Lonely Hearts Club, 
the names and addresses of 100 beautiful single girls, 18 to 25, list 
rushed by airmail. Don't delay. Why be lonely? Let America's 
friendly club introduce you by mail. Social correspondence clubs, and 
so on. 

We do know, of course, that some of these so-called correspondence 
clubs or matrimonial agencies or lonely hearts organizations have led 
to pretty serious trouble in cases such as blackmail and extortion. 

Mr. Davis. We used to have a lonely heart ball in Madison Square 
Garden some years ago, every year. 

Senator Hennings. That is not comparable. That has some super- 
vision. But you do not pay any attention to the advertising ? 

Mr. Davis. I am afraid I don't. My job is to distribute magazines. 
I try to be careful. Some of those magazines have been long estab- 
lished, like the one you have there. 


Naturally, I can't get into every ad that goes into there. If I did, 
the publisher could tell me, "It is none of your business." 

Senator Hennings. Is it fair to sum it up, Mr. Davis, to say that 
you try to be careful, but you really do not have an opportunity to be 
careful ? 

Mr. DxWis. I will say this : That we try to be respectable ; let us say 

Senator Hexnings. Respectable ? 

Mr. Davis. To our knowledge, what a respectable citizen should be. 

Senator Hennings. But the job is really just beyond you and cer- 
tainly not entirely within your jurisdiction as you see it; is that it? 

Mr. Davis. I will say, in my opinion, some of this stuff is overboard. 
I do say again that the industry should take cognizance of it and 
work accordingly and clean up whatever they think is right and do 
the right thing. That is my opinion. 

Senator Hennings. Thank you, sir. 

Mr. Davis. But I would like to add something to Mr. Chamber- 
lain's statement, if I could. 

The Chairman. You may, sir. 

Mr. Davis. That is on this force distribution business. A whole- • 
saler having to accept — let me briefly outline this : that there are 850 
wholesalers in the United States and Canada. A wholesaler does not 
have to accept a magazine if he does not want it. A dealer in turn 
is delivered magazines, probably 25 or maybe 50 a week, 2 deliveries, 
Wednesday and Friday. If that dealer goes through his bundle and 
finds that there are types of magazines there he does not want on his 
stand, he can put them in the return box and the wholesaler will 
pick them up. 

To prove this point, returns on comics, some of them at times run 
as high as 25 percent, magazines that have never seen daylight, 
returned from the dealers, proving that the dealers can return them. 

The Chairman. You would not say there are no tie-in sales ? 

Mr. Davis. I would not say, sir, that there has not been some route 
man somewhere along the line that may have become a little ambitious 
and said something like that to a dealer, but as far as wholesalers are 
concerned, they are too smart for that. 

The Chairman. Are there any further questions, Counsel? 

Mr. Beaser. Yes, Mr. Chairman. 

Picking up Senator Hennings' question as to where this Gala maga- 
zine and Frolic — do they go to the same places that carry comics, 
crime and horror comics ? 

Mr. Davis. That is a general statement I would not like to answer, 
because I could not tell you. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you seen from your own observation ? 

Mr. Davis. From my own observation I would say no. I live in a 
town where they have six magazine dealers and I don't think you 
would find one of those books there. 

Mr. Beaser. You have not seen it around town ? 

Mr. Davis. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Getting back to your standard as to what you will or 
will not accept 

Mr. Davis. Yes, sir. 


Mr. Beaser. Do you think your standard would or should be differ- 
ent, depending on whether you thought the material would get into 
the hands of kids? 

Mr. Davis. I would say that our standard could stand improve- 
ment, being perfectly honest with you, particularly on covers, and on 
some of the covers I looked at this morning, I would say that could be 

Mr. Beaser, Would you, sir, be concerned if you knew that Frolic 
and magazines of that type are getting to kids? 

Mr. Davis. Are getting on the same stands? 

Mr. Beaser. Yes, where the comics are. 

Mr. Davis. From my observation of Frolic on the newsstand or 
-Gahi, or any of those other type girlie books, you usually find them 
so high up it is hardly possible for a child to see them. 

Mr. Beaser. What responsibility do you think it is reasonable for 
the public to expect a man in your position to assume for the type of 
material that he is going to distribute in relationship to crime and 
-horror books? 

Mr. Davis. The public has a perfect right to expect magazines on 
the stands that would not violate any laws of decency from people, of 
the type distributors we are, national distributors. I should think 
they would exjiect that. 

I would not want them to read anything that I would no want my 
own family to have. That is the story. 

The Chairman. We had one publisher here that told us the last 
time we were in New York he tried these magazines out on his friend's 
children. What do you think of a statement like that? 

Mr. Davis. A lot of those fellows — there is such a variety of think- 
ing on this whole business. I tell you one thing, and I still stick to one 
thing I said, that I think we can im2:)rove on our business and I think a 
lot of publishers can improve. 

But I will say I hope we never destroy the imagination of Ameri- 
can kids. They are dreamers and they have been used to fantastic 
things. The more Indians that Buffalo Bill killed when I was a kid — 
I liked it. . . . • 

Senator Hennings. You do not think it is possible to destroy the 
imagination, do you? 

Mr. Davis. 1 don't know. The kids imagine a lot. Kids are dream- 
ers. Take in New York City. I think you could take every comic out 
of Long Island — they would have more juvenile delinquency. You see 
the poor kids on 10th Avenue under the fire hose 

Mr. Beaser. You say the crime and horror comics have no effect 
whatsoever ? 

Mr. Davis. I couldn't make a statement of that nature. I wouldn't 

Mr. Beaser. But you would not say that the publishers should wait 
until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt before you take action? 

Mr. Davis. I think if there is a doubt you should correct it. 

Mr. Beaser. We have on the board an organizational chart of some 
■of the magazine companies that you are distributors for. 

Mr. Davis. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you regularly make financial advances to those 
■companies ? 


Mr. Davis. Our position is similar to other national distributors. 
This distributing business is very competitive, sir. There are 7 or 8 
within the independent ranks and there is American News Co. There 
has been an instance possibly of advancing and prepayment on 

Mr. Beaser. In many cases some of these magazines could not be 
published if it were not for your financial aid ? 

Mr. Davis. I wouldn't say that. A man can print or publish a 
magazine. The advance cover is a very small portion of it. 

Some publications we settle 60 days after they are off sale. Some 
70 days after sale. 

Mr. Beaser. Would you in any case advance or guarantee the print- 
ing bill? 

Mr. Davis. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. Let me ask you one question as to your foreign distri- 
bution. Do you have foreign distribution? 

Mr. Davis. Yes, sir; some. Not a great deal. As far as we are 
concerned, we go to Panama, South America, probably a couple of 
places down there, Bermuda, Honolulu, Alaska. That is about all. 
Canada, naturally. 

Mr. Beaser. I presume you do no greater screening for the material 
that is going abroad than you do for the material that is distributed 
here in the United States. 

Mr. Davis. Our foreign business is not enough to talk about. It 
would not amount to 200 a title. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you make any attempt to screen the kinds of titles 
that are getting abroad, that miglit react in favor of the United States,, 
or against the United States? 

Mr. Davis. No, sir. 

Mr. BuiVSER. You have no standard there, either ? 

Mr. Davis. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. No further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Hennings. Mr. Davis, you have been good enough to come 
here. I do not want to seem to be cross-examining you, but I would 
like to ask you one question in order to clarify in my mind at least — 
I may be so obtuse that I do not quite understand your meaning — 
I understood you to say that you think the comic book industry and 
the horror comics are necessary because of other unfortunate condi- 
tions relating to the welfare of young people. 

As I recall your testimony, you have said, too, that you believe the 
children need this sort of outlet by way of blowing off steam, because 
of insufficient playgrounds, overcrowded schools, and other distress- 
ing conditions with which we are all familiar. 

I thought I understood you to say, too, that you were afraid that if 
the industry went too far in reg-ulating itself, or any other regulations 
were imposed upon it, that it might destroy the imagination of the 
American youth. 

Mr. Davis. I think you must have me all confused with somebody 
else. Senator. 

Senator Hennings. I may have. I thought you said something 
about destroying the imagination of our children. This is not a 
"please answer yes or no" business. I was trying to briefly review and 
sum it up by asking for your observations on what is probably not a 


question, but more in the nature of a statement, an effort to sum up 
a portion of your testimony. 

Do you or do you not believe that the people of character and a sense 
of social responsibility, a sense of awareness of their obligations to 
the communities and to our country, have some sense of guilt about 
some of these publications? 

Mr. Davis. Yes, sir. 

Senator Hennings. As to their character and the nature of them? 

Mr. Davis. Yes, sir. 

Senator Hennings. With relation to what they may be doing to the 
minds of the children ? 

Mr. Davis. Well, I am not qualified about the minds of the children, 
but I do say in my opinion — and that is all I can talk about — I think 
some of them are overboard ; yes, sir. I certainly don't want to leave 
any impression, the only thing I said — I may have confused you 
slightly by making this statement — that quite often committees will 
go around to a newsstand and make a wholesale slaughter of maga- 
zmes, taking a lot of good ones along with a few of the bad apples. 

I say this whole barrel of apples is not rotten. There are a few in 
there. We must admit that. And anyone who tries to defend things 
like that is next to crazy, and he is out for something besides helping 

We can't say that the entire industry is rotten due to those few. 
I think the pressure should be put on them. If we are off base in our 
own shop, I can assure you one thing, that I can put our people back on 
base, our publishers. If they are out of line I can put them back. 
Don't worry about that. 

Senator Hennings. You have been doing it and intend to continue 
to do it? 

Mr. Davis. I have not been too active in the last 3 months, sir. I 
have been in the hospital and I have been at home with my eye con- 
dition here. 

The Chairman. But your purpose is to help the industry clean house 
within ? 

Mr. Davis. Yes, sir; and I will say this, that no dealer nor any 
wholesaler in America has to take anything the Kable News Co. dis- 
tributes if they don't want it. Nobody uses any pressure or any force 
or nothing, and they can send it back express collect if they get it and 
find out that the local community don't need it, or they themselves 
consider it bad taste. 

So our position is just that. There are no arguments whatsoever. 

The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Davis, for your forthright testi- 

Mr. Davis. Thank you, sir. 

The Chairman. That concludes the witnesses for this morning's 

The subcommittee will now stand in recess until two-thirty this 

(Thereupon, at 12: 30 p. m., the subcommittee was recessed, to re- 
convene at 2 : 30 p. m., same day.) 



(The subcommittee reconvened at 2 : 30 p. m., upon the expiration of 
the recess.) 

The Chairman. This session of the subcommittee will be in order. 

The subcommittee is highly honored today by the presence of a dis- 
tinguished member of the Canadian Parliament, Mr. Fulton. 

Mr. Fulton has had considerable experience with the problem which 
presently confronts the committee. If Mr. Fulton will come forward, 
we would like to hear the story as you have experienced it in your 
great country and our great neighbor, Canada. 

You may be seated, Mr. Fulton. 

I am going to depart from our usual procedure here in your case. 
We have been swearing witnesses, but we are not going to swear a mem- 
ber of the Canadian Parliament. You are one of us. 



Mr. Fulton. I appreciate that very much. 

Perhaps for the introductory words, I might stand, because I think 
it would be appropriate while I express on my behalf the feeling of" 
deep appreciation I have for the honor of this invitation. I hope that 
my presentation may be of some assistance to you as indicating the 
course which your neighbor, Canada, followed in attempting to deal 
with this problem. 

As a problem of concern in equal measure to both our countries, I as- 
sure you that although I am not a member of the government in Cana- 
ada, I am quite certain that I speak for all our representatives in- 
Parliament and for Canada as a whole when I say that they appreci- 
ate the honor of the invitation and the opportunity to come down and 
discuss with you these problems of such great mutual concern. 

I think it is proper to suggest that this is one more example of the 
friendship and good neighborliness between our two countries. 

I want to express to you, sir, and your colleagues on this subcom- 
mittee, my appreciation for the honor of this invitation and the oppor- 
tunity to come here. 

The Chairman. Thank you. We are grateful to you and grate- 
ful to Canada. 

Now, Mr. Fulton, you may proceed to present your case in whatever 
manner you choose and think best. 

Mr. Fulton. Mr. Chairman, I have first, two apologies to make. I 
was late this morning, owing to weather conditions over the airport 
here. I trust that my delay did not inconvenience your proceedings. 

The second apology I have to make is that while I accept the respon- 
sibility for it myself, I should have been able to do it, I found that I 
didn't have sufficient notice to prepare a text, but I have made fairly 
extensive notes. 

If it meets with your convenience, I would be prepared to make a 
statement outlining our approach to the problem and at the conclusion 
of that perhaps we could discuss it by way of any questions you might 

The Chairman. That procedure will be entirely satisfactory to the 


Mr, Fulton. There is one other matter I should explain. Your 
counsel, Mr. Beaser, asked me if it would be possible for me to arrange 
to have somebody from either our Federal Department of Justice 
or a provincial attorney general's office to be available to discuss with 
you the questions of enforcement of the law which we have in Canada. 

I regret that again owing to the time factor I was not able to ar- 
range to have any such official with me. 

The Chairman. For the record, the Chair might state that Mr. 
Fulton refers specifically to the law covering crime comics. 

Mr. Fulton. That is correct. But I don't want the fact that no 
one else is here with me from any of the executive branch of govern- 
ment to be taken as an indication that they would not have liked to 
come had they been able to arrange it. The attorney general's de- 
partment of the Province of Ontario expressed their regrets they 
could not make available a witness in the time at their disposal. 

I thought perhaps at first I might make a few general remarks re- 
garding the similarity of the problem as it appears to exist in our 
two countries. 

But before I do so, there is one other introductory remark I would 
like to make, and that is as to my own position. I think in fairness 
it should be stated that I am not a member of the Government of Can- 
ada; nor, as a matter of fact, am I a member of the majority party. 

I am a member of the opposition party. Therefore, I think I should 
say that nothing I say should be taken as necessarily indicating the 
views of the Government of Canada. 

I will try, however, to the best of my ability, to summarize what I 
think to be the views of the Government of Canada with respect to 
this matter. 

When I come to subjects or aspects of it in which I feel that it is not 
safe to indicate that this might be the general view, I shall try to 
remember to indicate to you that this is my own personal view. But 
in everything I say I think I should make it clear I am not here in a 
position to speak for the Government of Canada, but simply as an 
individual member of Parliament interested in this problem. 

I think it goes probably without saying that we, our two coun- 
tries, find themselves very much in the same situation with respect 
to this problem of crime comics and their influence on the matter of 
juvenile delinquency. Our two civilizations, our standards of living, 
our method of life, are very similar. Our reading habits are by and 
large similar to yours. Indeed, speaking generally, probably the ma- 
jority of the reading material in the form of publications, that is, 
periodicals as distinguished from daily newspapers, have their origin 

With respect to crime comics, I don't wish to be taken as saying 
that it is by any means one-way stream of traffic, because I under- 
stand some of those published in Canada find their way here and 
present you with a problem, but I think by and large with respect to 
the movement across the border of crime comics that is one thing 
where the balance of trade is somewhat in your favor. 

Those features indicate that the problem is similar in both countries. 

The Chairman. It would be safe to say that the balance of trade 
is largely in our favor in this case, would it not ? 

Mr. Fulton. That is my impression. You will appreciate that as 
much as we have enacted legislation which makes it a criminal offense 


to publish or sell a crime comic, there are not official statistics avail- 
able as to the volume of these things published in Canada or sold in 
Canada because it is obvious tliat people trafficking in an illegal mat- 
ter are not called upon and if they were, would not furnish the statis- 
tics they might be asked for. 

We have in Canada examples which we feel indicated pretty 
clearly that crime comics were of similar nature to those circulating 
here have an adverse effect upon the thinking and in many cases 
on the actions of young boys and girls. I am not going to weary your 
committee with a complete catalog of cases. You probably have had 
many similar cases referred to you here, but there stands out in my 
mind particular a case which arose in Dawson Creek in the Yukon 
territory. One might have thought that that rather remote part of 
that country might be as insulated as any place might be against 
crime comics, but there was a case there in which one James M. Wat- 
son was murdered by two boys, ages 11 and 13. 

At the trial evidence was submitted to show that the boys' minds 
were saturated with comic book reading. One boy admitted to the 
judge that he had read as many as 50 books a week, the other boy, 30. 

The conclusion which the court came to after careful considera- 
tion of the evidence was that the exposure of these children to crime 
comics had had a definite bearing on the murder. There was no 
other explanation why the boys should have shot and killed the man 
driving past in his car. They probably didn't intend to kill him. 
They were imitating what they had seen portrayed day after day in 
crime comics to which they were exposed. 

The other one is a case of more recent occurrence, reported in a 
local newspaper on March 11 of this year. I would like to read you 
the newspaper report. It originated at Westville, Nova Scotia : 

Stewart Wright, 14, Wednesday told a coroner's jury how he shot his pal to 
•deatli March 2, while they listened to a shooting radio program and read comic 
books about the Two-Gun Kid. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death 
and recommended that comic books of the type found at the scene be banned. 

That, you appreciate, Mr. Chairman, is a case that occurred since 
the passage of our legislation, which indicates that we have not yet 
found the complete answer to this problem. 

I would like everything I say be taken subject to that understanding. 
I am not suggesting that the legislation we have passed is the complete 

I do suggest that it is a beginning in the effort to deal with this 

If we had the same general situation prevailing in Canada as you 
have in the United States, that is, a widespread body of opinion to 
the effect that this type of literature has a harmful influence on the 
minds of the young, we also had a similar conflict of opinions to that 
which I understand exists here. The publishers, particularly those 
■engaged in the trade dealing with crime comics and other periodicals 
and magazines, as I think might be expected, were found on the whole 
to be on the side which held that these things were not a harmful 
influence on the minds of children. 

I think that the explanation for that, sir, is readily available. They 
have an interest in the continuation of this stream of traffic. I am 
not saying, I don't wish to suggest, that they are all acting from 
improper motives. I am suggesting really that there is an obvious 


explanation as to why the majority of those concerned in the trade 
should be found on the one side, that is, on the side which says that 
these are not harmful. 

I also have to confess that many experts and impartial experts in 
the field of psychiatry were found on the side of those who held that 
crime comics and similar publications were not harmful to children, 
but merely provided a useful outlet for what they called their natural 
violent instincts and tendencies. 

Those generally were on the one side and as against them there 
were by and large all the community organizations, the parent-teacher 
associations, the federations of home and school, and snnilar organi- 
zations of a general community nature and those more particularly 
dealing with welfare work. 

I would like to take this opportunity of paying here my tribute 
to the work that many of those organizations in Canada in arousing 
our people to an awareness of the problem, even if they didn't suggest 
in producing, as I say, a unanimous opinion as to how it should be 
dealt with. I say that because I believe that similar organizations 
here are assisting in that work. 

Also on the side of those who came to the conclusion that these 
things were a harmful influence were the majority of our law-enforce- 
ment organizations. I think particularly of our own Federal Depart- 
ment of Justice where back in 1947 and 1948 when the matter was 
first discussed in Parliament in a concrete form, the Minister himself, 
speaking for the Government, expressed the view that these crime 
comics, of which he had been provided with samples, could have no 
other effect than a harmful one on the minds of young boys and 

That was even before we had taken any positive action to deal with 
the problem. 

I also would like to pay my tribute to a noted expert in your own 
country, and, indeed, in your own city of New York, Dr. Frederic 
Wertham. I have read extensively from Dr. Wertham's articles 
and, of course, I read with great interest his latest book. Seduction 
of the Innocent. I have had considerable correspondence with Dr. 
Wertham and I think it is fair and accurate to say that insofar as I, 
myself, made any contribution to this matter and to the enactment of 
our legislation that I used and found Dr. Wertham's opinions, his 
quotations, of great assistance and I found they were generally ac- 
cepted as authoritative in our country in a discussion of this matter. 

I am not again saying that opinion was unanimous, but I think it 
is fair to say that Dr. Wertham's views were given great weight in 
our country. 

The Chairman. Mr. Fulton, I might interrupt you at this point 
and, for the record, state that I received this morning upon my arrival 
here a communication from Dr. Wertham that w^as hand-delivered 
and that that communication will be made a part of the subcommittee 

If at the conclusion of your testimony you would like to examine 
that letter, you may have that privilege. 

Mr. Fulton. I shall be very much obliged, sir. I am looking 
forward, I might say, to meeting Dr. Wertham later on today. 

49632—54 17 


That that survey of the general field in Canada, I would like to 
come to a more particular examination of the background of the 
present Canadian legislation. 

We have had for many years — I see I am getting a little ahead of 
myself. There is another matter which I think I should mention, 
Mr. Chairman, to give you the full background picture and that is 
the constitutional position. 

Here, I sliould say that although I am chairman of our own party 
organization, that is our own caucus committee of the Canadian Par- 
liament dealing with matters having to do with law and law enforce- 
ment, I don't wish to pose as an expert lawyer. 

The Chairman. That would compare to our Judiciary Committee, 
would it not ? 

Mr. Fulton. Yes, except that this is a committee into which our 
own party has organized, an opposition party, for the purpose of 
examining any legislation introduced by the Government having a 
bearing on those matters. It is because of my interest in that subject, 
and, to some extent, of my position in my own party, that I have been 
a spokesman on this matter. I mention that merely to make my 
position clear. I don't want to be taken as an expert. 

I do now want to turn to a consideration of the constitutional 
position in Canada. I think I stated it correctly but I do so to some 
extent as an amateur, I mention it because there may be some dif- 
ference in the constitutional position as between our two countries, 
particularly when it comes to the subject of law enforcement. 

In Canada, broadly speaking, under our Constitution, which is the 
British-North America Act, all general criminal matters are reserved 
exclusively to the Federal Parliament, whereas on the other hand, all 
matters of local law enforcement are left exclusively to the jurisdic- 
tion of the provincial government. 

When it comes to enacting criminal law, the Federal Parliament 
alone can act. 

When it comes to enforcing that law the responsibility and the 
authority rests exclusively with the province- No province could 
enact as part of the criminal law any provision having exclusively 
application to its own territory. 

On the other hand, everything enacted in the realm of genera] 
criminal law by the Federal Parliament is equally applicable all across 
the country. 

As to the background of the legislation that we have, there has 
existed under the criminal code of Canada, which is a statute covering 
matters of general criminal law, for many years a section dealing 
with the general problem of literature, obscene literature, indecent 
objects, indecent exhibitions, and so on. That is found in section 207 
of our criminal code. 

And I should point out I have here with me a bill which has just this 
year been passed by the House of Commons, bill 7, which is an act 
entitled "An Act Respecting the Criminal Law." That is a general 
revision and recodification of the criminal code for the purpose of 
consolidating in one fresh statute the original statute, plus all the 
amending acts which have been passed over a period of some 50 years, 
since the last general revision. There are only, in a few cases, changes 
in principle. 


Section 207, as it exists in the code now, is reenacted and will be 
found as section 150 in the bill, which is in the possession of your 
counsel. This bill has not yet become law because it has not yet passed 
our Senate, but it is my impression there will not be any changes in 
the present provisions of section 150 as passed by tlie House of 

Section 150 incorporates section 207 of the old code, but until 1949. 
section 207 contained no reference to crime comics as such. 

It was concerned exclusively w^ith the matter of obscene objects, 
or obscure literature, indecent exhibitions, and so on. 

I think it was after the last war — this is our experience at any rate — 
that the problem of crime comics as such came into existence. It 
seems to me by and large a postwar development. I am not saying 
it didn't exist before, but on the scale we now have it seems to be a 
postwar development which is probably the reason why our criminal 
law didn't refer to it before. 

As a result of the emergency of the crime comics and the factors 
whicli I have reviewed already as to the public opinion which grew 
up about it, there was evidenced a considerable demand that something: 
should be done to deal with this problem created by the crime comic. 
There was a campaign originated by such organizations as I have 
already mentioned, the Canadian Federation of Home and Schools^ 
various service clubs organized tliemselves on a nationwide basis, 
put on a campaign pressing for some effective action to deal with the 
problem of crime comics and obscene literature generally. 

Parent-teachers' associations joined in this effort. There was in 
addition considerable work done on it in our House of Commons. 

I have already mentioned that in 1947 and 1948, when the matter 
was drawn to the attention of the Minister of Justice he expressed 
himself as holding the opinion that it was desirable to do something, 
although he said up to that time they had not yet been able to figure 
out any effective measures. 

In the course of the discussion as to what should be done, the 
usual problem arose, and that was to reconcile the conflicting desires 
to have on the one hand freedom of action, freedom of choice, and 
on the other hand to prevent the abuse of that very freedom. 

The problem is, are you going to have complete freedom of action, 
or are you going to have a measure of control. 

The measure of control, it was generally agreed, divided itself into 
two alternatives : One, direct censorship ; the other, legislative action, 
legislative action whicli would lay down the general standards and 
leave it to the courts to enforce rather than by direct censorship 
imposed f I'om above by any governmental body. 

Just as background, I might say that in Canada there exists no 
federal censorship as such. There is only in one Province that I am 
aware of any extensive censorship of literature, and that is in the 
Province of Quebec. 

The majority of our Provinces, if not nearly all, have a form of 
censorshi]! of movies under the authority of the provincial govern- 
ment. But by and large I think it would be fair to say that the 
majority opinion in Canada is opposed to the idea of censorship of 

I am not saying that that feeling is unanimous, but that seemed ta 
be the feeling that if possible we should avoid bringing in direct 


censorship. That was my feeling with regard to the matter, not only 
my indivichial feeling, but it was my impression of the stated public 
opinion and, therefore, I felt if we were to get anywhere with it the 
approach should be by way of legislation to amend the criminal law 
so as to create an offense on the basis that society regards the con- 
tinued publication of this material as a danger to society itself, and 
that society, therefore, through its instrument, its elected representa- 
tives, taking cognizance of the problem, is entitled to decide whether 
it is of sufficient seriousness and danger that the problem is to be dealt 
with in the usual way under our principle of justice by the elected 
representatives defining the problem constituting the offense, pro- 
viding the penalty, and then leaving it to the individual who Iniows 
the law, knows what is there, to decide whether he wishes to run the 
risk, if you like, of continuing in that course of action with the knowl- 
edge if he does he may expose himself to the penalty. 

In other words, to some extent you might say it is the process of 
imposing on the individual the obligation of self-censorship instead 
of imposing it on him by direction from above. 

So that was the course that was followed in Canada. 

I should perhaps mention one other feature which we have. That 
is a measure of control at the customs points, I don't know whether 
you have it, or not, I don't want to go into this in any great detail 
because I laiow you have a busy session before you. I will try to 
summarize it. 

In our customs law, and under the tariff items which are approved 
by Parliament to apply that law there is an item 1201, tariff item 
1201, which reads as follows: 

It prohibits the entry into Canada of books, printed paper, drawings, prints, 
photographs, or representations of any kind of a treasonable or seditious or 
immoral or indecent character, on the grounds that our criminal code makes 
those an offense in the country ; therefore, we are not going to permit them to 
come into the country while it is an offense under our law. 

That tariff item has not been amended with respect to crime comics, 
but, by and large, I am informed that the officers of the border points, 
if they are of the opinion that a particular comic magazine would be 
an offense under the new revision in the criminal code, they will exer- 
cise their own discretion in prohibiting its entry, or, if they are in 
doubt, they will refer it to the department at Ottawa for a ruling as to 
whether it is admissible or not. 

Mr. Beaser, Are the crime comics which go into your country 
printed in this comitry, or are the plates sent to Canada for printing? 

Mr. Fulton. I am informed it is done in both ways. In some cases 
the finished article is imported. In other cases the plates are sent over 
and they are printed in Canada, 

Mr. Beaser. You do not know which method predominates, do you ? 

Mr. Fulton. My impression is that the finished article predomi- 
nates. Perhaps we could go into that a little more fully later. There 
is a real problem confronting the customs officials in that we have not 
had yet very much jurisprudence built up. There have not been many 
actions in our courts under the new sections with regard to crime 
comics and the customs officials are loath to set themselves up as censors. 
They have no hesitation if a particular subject or article has been 
declared offensive by a court decision in prohibiting its entry, but 
they find themselves under great difficulty when it comes to saying as 


to whether or not an article, which has never been the subject of any 
judicial process, is in fact prohibited under our criminal law. 

That is one difficulty. 

The other is that the volume of these things moving across the 
border makes it difficult for them to enforce their own regulations 
100 percent, and I think it would be fair to say that customs officers 
exist mainly for the purpose of collecting duties, customs, and excises, 
and not for the purpose of indulging in any form of quasi-censoring 
of literature. 

It is an obligation under the tariff item which they willingly under- 
take, but it is not their main task. 

Senator E^nnings. It may be of interest, perhaps Mr. Fulton is 
very well aware of this, but Assemblyman James A. Fitzpatrick told 
me during the recess today that many people come over the border 
from Canada to Plattsburg, N. Y., which happens to be his home, 
for the purpose of procuring some of the American published comic 
or horror books and that they take them back across the border, 
smuggling them or bootlegging them across, as it were. 

Mr. Fulton. That may be so. Senator. The only comment I could 
make on that is that I regret to say that these things circulate with 
sufficient freedom in Canada that I am surpised that they find it neces- 
sary to come dow^n here for that. 

Senator Hennings. Like carrying coals to Newcastle. 

Mr. Fulton. I think it must be a very incidental purpose of their 
visit. I am not in any way questioning that it does take place. 

What I want to avoid is giving the impression of saying that we 
have dealt with this effectively in Canada and it is only you that 
have the problem. 

My attitude toward it is tliat it is still a mutual problem although 
we have made a beginning. 

Senator Hennings. You are certainly eminently fair, and I am sure 
want to be very careful in having made that statement not to cause 
any misunderstanding on that point. 

Thank you, sir. 

]\Ir. Fulton. That, then, in brief, is the background of the situation 
with respect to the nature of the problem and the actual legislation, or 
lack of it, up to 1949. 

In the fall session of our Parliament in 1949, 1 introduced a bill, of 
which I regret I have no longer copies left in my file. There is only 
one copy left in the file of the Department of Justice. There are plenty 
of copies of the statute in the annual volume of statutes, but of the bill 
itself, an individual bill, there is only one copy left readily available. 
So I had our Department of Justice prepare typewritten facsimiles 
of the bill as introduced. 

I shall be glad to give them to your counsel or your clerk for filing 
at the end of my presentation. This is as best as can be done, a repro- 
duction of the bill with the front page. This was the inside page, 
explanatory notes and the back page was blank. It was a short bill. 
It Avas introduced by way of an amendment to section 207 of the code. 

I think it is short enough that I can read it to you and you can un- 
derstand then our approach to the problem of trying to find the method 
of dealing with this subject. 


I won't read the introductory words, except as follows : 

Bill 10 

AN ACT To amend the Criminal Code (Portrayal of Crimes) 

His Majesty, hy and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of 
Commons of Canada, enacts as folloivs: 

Subsection 1 of section 207 of the Criminal Code, chapter 36 of the Revised 
Statutes of Canada, 1927, is amended by adding thereto the following: 

"(d) prints, publishes, sells, or distributes any magazine, periodical, or book 
which exclusively or substantially comprises matter depicting pictorially the 
commission of crimes, real or fictitious, thereby tending or likely to induce or 
influence youthful persons to violate the law or to corrupt the morals of such 

Section 207 in its introductory sections provided that : 

Every person shall be guilty of an offense who 
and then the introductory sections (a), (b), (c), cover obscene litera- 
ture, obscene exhibitions and I was adding section (d) to make it a 
violation to print, sell, distribute a crime comic as a crime. 

I would like to read an explanatory note which was submitted at 
the same time and forms part of the printed material with the bill : 

This act is designed to amend the Criminal Code to cover the case of those 
magazines and periodicals commonly called crime comics, the publication of 
which is presently legal, but which it is widely felt tend to the lowering of 
morals and to induce the commission of crimes by juveniles. 

The purpose is to deal with these piiblications not by imposing a direct censor- 
ship or by blanket prohibition, but rather by providing in general terms that 
the publication and distribution as defined in the act shall be illegal and thus 
leaving it for decision by the court and/or jury, in accordance with the normal 
principles prevailing at a criminal trial to determine whether or not the pubU 
cation in question falls witliin the definition. 

That bill Avas introduced as a private member's bill and given first 
reading on September 28, 1949. In the debate which followed, after 
I had outlined my argument in support of the legislation, the Minister 
of Justice, speaking for the Government, stated that the Government 
was anxious to take effective action to deal with this problem, they 
welcomed the introduction of the bill. 

However, it raised certain questions with respect to enforcement 
imd, therefore, they asked if it might be stood for the time being while 
Ihey communicated its contents to the provincial attorneys general to 
get the benefit of their views as to whether it was necessary; if so, 
whether it was enforcible in its present suggested form, or whether 
they themselves would like to see some amendments to make it more 

That was done. As a result of the views and opinions offered by 
provincial attorneys general when the debate was brought on again 
in committee the bill as introduced was quite extensively amended and 
in effect given the form of a complete revision and reenactment of 
the whole of section 207. 

In other words, instead of just adding a new clause they incorpo- 
rated the suggestion into the clause and made it a more workable 

It had one more effect which I would like to mention. The amend- 
ment to the bill, in that under section 207 in its previous form it was 
a defense to anyone accused of committing the crime of printing or 
publishing any obscene literature or crime comic after the amend- 


ment carried. It was a defense to the accused person to show that he 
did not liave any knowledge of the indecent content or nature of the 
publication complained of. 

It was felt, particularly with respect to crime comics — you say the 
specimens on the board this morning — that it would be really pretty 
ridiculous for anyone to try to plead "Well, I don't know the nature 
of this thing." The nature is self-evident. It was felt by the attor- 
neys general if we were going to make this section effective not only 
with respect to crime comics, but with respect to offensive literature 
generally, really this defense of lack of knowledge of the contents of 
the articles complained of should be removed. 

It would still be the onus on the Crown to prove intent in the 
general sense of that onus under the criminal law. 

Senator Hennings. May I ask Mr. Fulton one question? You 
may have suggested this earlier in your statement. 

Does this relate to the publisher, the distributor, and the news- 
dealer ? 

Mr. Fulton. Yes, sir ; it includes the whole field. 

Senator Hennings. I take it it is announced in the statute in the 
subjunctive; is that correct? 

Mr. Fulton. Yes. 

Senator Hennings. They may be joined, in other words, they may 
be coindictees, they may be individually indicted? 

Mr. Fulton. Or they may be proceeded against separately. One 
may be proceeded against without the other. 

I shall have something to say on that a little later. That is an 
interesting legal point. I mean with respect to the matter of dealing 
more effectively with the publisher. 

I should like, if time permits and you think it important, to say 
something on that later. But that defense was removed as a result 
of this amendment. 

I have also a facsimile copy of the bill as it was amended in com- 
mittee as a result of the Government's own suggestions. I shall be 
glad to file that. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Fulton, am I wrong in believing that the bill as 
finally passed was different than the one you introduced in that it 
made it an offense to print, circulate, and so forth, a crime comic to 
anyone ; whereas, as you read your original bill I got the impression 
it was aimed at distribution which had as its purpose the influencing 
of youthful people ; is that right ? 

Mr. Fulton. You are correct. In my initial draft of the bill as 
first moved the words "thereby tending or likely to induce or influ- 
ence youthful persons to violate the law or to corrupt the morals of 
such persons" was included. 

Mr. Beaser. Was that for enforcement purposes? 

Mr. F'ulton. I think so on the basis that the nature of these things 
and their tendency is self-evident. 

Senator Hennings. That becomes a jury question. 

Mr. Fulton. No; those words are not included in section 207 at the 
present time. The crime comic as defined in the bill, bill 10, as it 
eventually passed, was defended as follows : 

(7) In this sf^ction "crime comic" means a magazine, periodical or booli that 
exclusively or substantially comprises matter depicting pictorially (a) the 
commission of crimes, real or fictitious — 


Now, sir, the only defense as such which is open to an accused under 
our law, under this bill, is the following : 

No one shall be convicted of any offense in this section mentioned if he 
proves that the public good was served by the acts that are alleged to have 
been done and that there was no excess in the acts alleged beyond what the 
public good required. 

If he can prove to the satisfaction of a judge or magistrate or 
judge and jury that the crime comic in fact served the public good, 
theit there is no conviction. 

Senator Hennings. That is somewhat then in parallel to your Eng- 
lish libel law that you require not only that as defense one need estab- 
lish not only truth as in the United States, but that it be for the public 

Mr. Fulton. I think that, sir, is in the realm of criminal liability 

Senator Hennings, I meant criminal liability, of course. 

Mr. Fulton. Yes. 

Senator Hennings. It must be for the public benefit under the 
British law, is it not ? 

Mr. Fulton. I think it might be going perhaps a little beyond, but 
it must not go too far bej^ond. There must be some public interest to 
be served, yes. I think that would be a fair statement. 

Now, when the bill came back in its amended form, as I have indi- 
cated it in the summary here, it passed the House unanimously. The 
House of Commons adopted it without any dissenting vote. 

It then went to our Senate and there by that time the periodical 
publisher or some of those engaged in the trade — I shall put it that 
way — perhaps had only just awakened to what was going on; maybe 
they thought it would never pass the House of Commons. 

What the reason was, I don't know, but at any rate, they made no 
representation to the House. They didn't ask for its reference to a 
committee. It goes through the Committee of the Whole House, but 
they didn't ask for reference to a special committee on the bill and 
they made no formal presentation. 

Then it got to the Senate, having passed the House ; they asked to 
be allowed to appear and make representations. So the Senate re- 
ferred it to one of its standing committees. 

There the publishers appeared and they made representations which 
took the form of some of the submissions which I have read in the 
newspaper comment, at any rate on your own proceedings from time 
to time down here, namely, that these things were not harmful to 
juveniles; in fact, to some extent they formed a harmless outlet for 
their natural violent instincts. 

Senator Hennings. I take it, sir, in defining crime you mean felony. 
That is in section 7, "crime comic" means a periodical or book that 
exclusively or substantially comprises matter depicting pictorially the 
commission of crimes. 

Mr. Fulton. There is another amendment I was going to come 
to. Senator, but I will be glad to deal with that point now. 

Senator Hennings. I do not mean to distract and divert you. 

]\Ir. Fulton. You are concerned with the definition given to the 
word "crime"? 

Senator Hennings. Yes, sir; whether you mean felony, misde- 
meanor ; what classification of crime, if any ? 


Mr. Fulton. I don't think that point has come before our courts. 

Senator Hennings. For example, if an embezzlement is depicted 
in a crime comic, a bank teller, let ns say, taking money from his 
employer, or invohmtary manslaughter, would, in your judgment, 
that sort of thing depicted in a comic book constitute a crime within 
the meaning and purview of your statute? 

Mr. Fulton. 1 would not care to express an opinion on that. I 
think that would be a matter of individual interpretation by the 
courts. To my knowledge the point has not arisen. 

I think it may be a very important point. I would have to say this, 
that in my mind in drafting and submitting the original legislation 
I had in contemplation the crime of violence, what you might call 
the crime of violence, but taking it over to amend it and amending 
it, the Government deleted the reference to that type of definition 
and I had no objection whatever. They had consulted with the law- 
enforcement officers and the law-enforcement officers felt that a too 
narrow definition might create obstacles which might create diffi- 
culties in the way of its enforcement and no substantial representations 
against the broadening of the definition were made and so it went 
through in that form. 

I would not care at the moment to express an opinion as to whether 
the court, looking at it, would say, "Well, the intention of the legis- 
lature was to confine it to crimes of violence," or not. 

Senator Hennings. We would have a most interesting situation, 
would we not, bearing in mind that the crime of carrying a concealed 
weapon is a felony in most of our States, having portrayed in a comic 
a representation indicating that someone was carrying a concealed 
weapon by verbiage, but the weapon could not be seen. 

That would still be carrying it along the line. I certainly do not 
want to be frivolous or to attempt to make light of part of it but to 
attempt to present the difficulty this field presents. 

Mr. Fulton. I would express this purely as an offliand opinion, 
that the wording of the statute is wide enough to cover anything 
which is made a crime by our criminal code. Anything covered in 
there whether fraud or embezzlement is covered in the criminal code 
then on the face of it an illustration of a crime of that nature is 
included in section 207. 

It might be an interesting point for defense counsel to raise that 
as defense the section didn't contemplate that type of crime. Then 
the court would have to decide what was the intent of the legislature 
as gathered from the words they used. 

So far that point has not come before our courts. 

I was mentioning that when it came before our Senate it was re- 
ferred to a standing committee and the representatives of the trade 
appeared and made representations against the bill. 

Dr. Wertham has an interesting passage in his book in which he 
records it as having been the opinion expressed that they appeared 
to be making progress until they made the mistake of producing to the 
Senators some examples of their wares, that when that was done their 
case was out of court. 

I can't read the minds of our Senators. All I know is that in the 
result the standing committee reported the bill back to the Senate 
without amendment and it passed the Senate as a whole by a vote of 92 
to 4. 


Having passed the senate, it then passed both Houses of our Par- 
liament and was proclaimed and became law. 

Now, our subsequent experience has been somewhat as follows — 
and here I must say I am speaking on the basis of opinion for the 
reason, as I have said, statistics on this matter are hard to obtain — 
but it is my impression, and I know this view is shared by the majority 
of those interested in the problem, the crime comic as such pretty well 
disappeared from the Canadian newsstands within a year or so follow- 
in ^ the enactment of this legislation. 

But within about the same period of time alternative forms of 
comic magazines began to appear. Speaking in general terms, these 
took the form initially of an increase in the number of love and sex 
and girlie comics which began to hit the newsstands. And that as 
an interesting comment gave rise to a separate study launched by our 
Senate on tlie subject. They set up a committee to look into the 
sale and distribution of, I think the word they used was salacious 

One of the reasons why the demand for that rose so rapidly was the 
rapid increase in the circulation of that type of pulp magazine fol- 
lowing the virtual disappearance of the crime comic. 

I mention that merely as an interesting aside. 

Then there crept back into circulation in Canada the crime comic 
again in its original form, but it also began to appear in other alterna- 
tive forms and there the alternative form I have in mind is what I 
think you have described generally as the horror comic. I would 
venture the opinion that the reason the crime comic to a lesser extent 
and the horror comic to a greater extent reappeared and began to 
appear respectively, was in part because of the lack of prosecution 
of any publisher or printer or vendor under the new crime comic 
section. There were no prosecutions until about a year ago. And 
partly perhaps due to the fact that the public and myself and other 
similar interested persons included may have felt, now we have done 
our job, we can sit back and relax, with the result that there wasn't 
the same vigilant supervision of the newsstands to pick out offensive 
publications, bring them to the attention of the authorities and de- 
mand prosecution. 

Whatever the reasons, anyway, the crime comic in its original 
form began to reappear and the horror comic in a much exhilarated 
form — T mean it is now circulating to an extent even greater than 
the present circulation of the crime comic and it is in Canada at any 
rate relatively newer in form and appearance. It has made its 
appearance later than crime comics. I think it would be fair to say 
it made its appearance only after the enactment of legislation in 1949. 

But I have to express it again as my personal opinion that even 
the horror comic was in fact adequately covered by the legislation 
which we had enacated in 1949 because that legislation refers by defi- 
nition to the commission of crimes, real or fictitious. 

Now, again, it miglit be an interesting legal point as to whether 
the courts would say that a fictitious crime means merely a crime com- 
mitted by a human being, the crime had not taken place in fact, 
whether they would confine it to that or whether it would be broad 
enough to cover the case of a crime committed by these fantastic 
beings, ghoul of the swamp and the Batman, those creatures that can 


have no existence in reality, but, nevertheless, commit what, if com- 
mitted by a human being, would be crime. 

It is interesting to speculate whether the words "crime, real or 
fictitious" would apply. 

Senator Hennings. That would apply perhaps to a crime com- 
mitted by Mickey Mouse, for example, a more innocuous kind of comic 

]\Ir. Fulton. Yes, sir. Again it is a question, of course, whether 
the courts interpret the intent of the legislature as gathered from the 
words of the statute. 

Mr. Beaser. Assuming you are able to find out how the American 
crime comics are getting into Canada, are you able under your statute 
to proceed against the publisher or distributor? 

Mr. Fulton. In the United States ? 

Mr. Beaser. Yes. 

]\Ir. Fulton. No. Ho is beyond our reach. His crime is not com- 
mitted in Canada, you see. Unless he were to come and surrender 
himself voluntarily to the jurisdiction of our courts, I don't think 
there is any way; I don't think extradition proceedings would lie. 

My understanding is that unless he came to Canada and com- 
mitted the crime and came back here we could not use extradition 

Mr. Beaser. The question is whether under the Canadian statute 
Canada is able to proceed against an American publisher who pub- 
lishes in this country crime and horror comics which then get into 
Canada, or whether they can proceed against a distributor who sends 
them into Canada. 

Mr. Fulton. I think the first. 

Senator Hennings. They would have no jurisdiction in the matter 
in the first place. 

Mr. Fulton. Unless lie submitted himself voluntarily to the juris- 
diction of our courts, which I can't see him doing. 

Senator Hennings. You would have no venue then? 

Mr. Fulton. I think if he voluntarily submitted himself to juris- 
diction we would. I think the execution of the sentence niight, of 
course, present some interesting problems, but in effect I don't think 
it arises. In effect my opinion is — and I take it Senator Hennings 
concurs — that the first person we can deal with is the man who first 
imports it in Canada and there is no suggestion that we should pro- 
ceed against the American publisher. 

If we deal with the man who brings it in we are dealing effectively 
with it from our point of view. What is done here is a matter en- 
tirely for your own determination. 

Mr. Beaser. Are you able to get the distributor; is it known or 

Mr. Fulton. It can be ascertained. I have to say with regret, in 
my view we are not proceeding sufficiently vigorously in our own coun- 
try against the distributors, against the man who first puts this offen- 
sive material into circulation. 

I would like to deal with that at greater length a little later. 

I think that is one defect not only in our laws which exist, but in 
the enforcement of our law. 

Now, I just was mentioning that these things have reappeared, 
although I think again it would be fair to say they don't circulate 
to the same extent as they did previous to the enactment of the legis- 


lation, but they circulate or have been circulating recently to an extent 
sufficient to give rise to genuine concern. 

Then I would like to say a word in consequence of that about the 
courts and enforcement. I have expressed, I think, already the opin- 
ion that our legislation is adequate. 

I would say, I think, by that opinion, unless the case comes before 
the courts in which the prosecution is dismissed then we would know 
whether or not the law was adequate, but I can see no reason why 
it should not cover it so I would like to discuss the problems of the 
courts and enforcement. 

I think that first one should state what is probably a general propo- 
sition applicable equally in both our countries, that, generally speak- 
ing, one of the reasons for what I have called lack of vigorous en- 
forcement may be the inherent dislike of taking measures which 
appear to be repressive with respect to the written word, with respect 
to literature. 

Our law-enforcement authorities are reluctant, and I think properly 
reluctant, to launch prosecution against those in the printing and 
publishing business and in the distribution of literature. It is a re- 
luctance which I think must and should be overcome where the case 
warrants it, but I used the words ''I think it is a proper reluctance" 
and it is one which I tliink we must take into account. 

In any event, there have been very few prosecutions in Canada, al- 
though this material is circulating in certainly greater quantity than 
I would like to see. 

I would like then to refer to one or two specific cases which came 
before our courts. You will appreciate from your reading of the 
section as lawyers that there are two alternative methods of proceed- 
ing. One is by indictment in which case it comes up before a court 
with a judge. 

The other is by what we call summary procedure or on summary con- 
viction, which means it comes up before a magistrate. 

The principle, of course, applicable in both courts are exactly the 
same as to proof and so on, but the powers of the respective courts 
with respect to imposition of penalties are quite different. The pen- 
alty which the higher court can impose on the more formal indict- 
ment procedure is much larger than tliat which can be imposed by 
a magistrate on a summary conviction. 

Tlie first case I should like to mention came up before a magistrate 
in the Province of Alberta. Being in a magistrate court, it is not a 
reported case, but it was the case which gave us the greatest concern 
because the facts as I understand them were something like this : That 
the magazine or crim.e comic complained of illustrated everything 
right up to the actual moment of the delivery of the death blow, 
omitted that, and then continued with all the gruesome details im- 
mediately following that. That was the presentation at any rate as 
I understand it, given by the defending attorney. 

The legislation refers to the commission of crimes. This does not 
illustrate tlie actual commission of the crime and, therefore, the 
accused is not guilty. 

The magistrate dismissed the case on that ground. That looked 
as though we would have to amend our legislation if we wished it to 
be effective because you will appreciate so far as the juveniles are 
concerned if you are going to say everything which falls short of 


the actiia] commission of tlie crime at the moment of death, shall I 
say, that everything of that sort is all right, then you haven't really 
got an effective act from the point of view of what we want to 

So reconsideration was immediately given to introducing the 
necessary amendment. That has been done. There is a slight modi- 
fication in bill 7 in the proposed section 150 over and above what 
there was in bill 10, which I shall come to, but even before we in tlie 
House of Commons enacted bill 7, there was another case, Reglna- 
V. Rohr. 

As, you know, in our country all criminal prosecutions are brought 
in the name of the Queen, or whoever happens to be wearing the 
Crown at the time being, be it the King or the Queen. Regina v. 
Rohr, a Manitoba case, in which the same defense was raised before 
the magistrate. The magistrate, however, convicted in this case. 

So as a test case it was appealed to the Court of Appeals of the 
Province of Manitoba. The appeal court stated, after looking at 
the words of the statute, they were clearly of the opinion that the 
intent of the legislature as clearly to be gathered from those words, 
was to cover all these incidental arrangements for and consequence 
of the crime and that, therefore, the prosecution was properly 

I am not going to weary you with it here, but if any member of 
your committee might be interested in the discussion of the effect of 
tliat decision, it may lie found in the Canadian Bar review for Decem- 
ber 1953 at page llGl, whei-e the case and its implications are dis- 
cussed by the Deputy Attorney General for British Columbia, Mr. 
Eric Peppier. 

That decision seemed to dispose of the fears which we had that the 
whole statute might be rendered ineffective, but nevertheless there 
was this amendment which had been contemplated which was still 
carried forward for the sake of greater certainty. 

It is not a very important or far-reaching amendment, but I think 
it does substantiate my point that these words are now sufficient to 
cover even the horror comic because the definition of crime comic 
as it previously appeared in section 207 was in this form : 

Crime comic means in tliis section any magazine, periodical, or book wtiich 
exclusively or substantially comprises matter depicting pictorially the commis- 
sion of crimes, real or fictitious. 

Now, it reads in this section : 

Crime comic means a magazine, i>erindical, or book that exclusively or sub- 
stantially comprises matter depicting pictorially : 

A. The commission of crimes, real or fictitious, or 

B. Events connected with the commission of crimes, real or fictitious, whether 
occurring before or after the commission of a crime. 

Mr. Beaser. You would say, Mr. Fulton, that the statute itself seems 
to be sufficient. The difficulty lies in the enforcement ? 

Mr. Fulton. In the enforcement ; that is my point. 

Mr. Beaser. You think if there were effective enforcement the 
problem that Canada faces with respect to crime and horror comics 
would no longer be there ? 

Mr. Fulton. I don't suppose it will ever disappear entirejy, but it 
would be effectively dealt with ; yes. 


To conclude in a very few words, I would like to say a word or two 
with regard to our present experience. Our present experience is, it 
must be confessed, that printers and publishers still defy the laws 
because comics are still on our stands, whether publishers in the sense 
of those who actually print them in Canada, or in the sense of those 
who put them into circulation after they are imported from your 

That is the view I know of our Government, that the law is there ; 
what is necessary now is vigorous and complete enforcement. 

I did suggest in a recent debate, and it is still my view, that there 
should be a differentiation in the penalty so that a stiffer penalty 
would be provided for those who, as I see it, carry the greater respon- 
sibility for putting this offensive material into circulation, what you 
might call gently at the printer and publisher level ; that there should 
he a stiffer minimum penalty, one that he will really feel, one which 
will not be, and what so often they are, merely license fees to continue 
in business. 

Mr. Beaser. However, if the majority of these crimes and horror 
comics are coming in from the United States, that sort of stiffening 
of penalty would not be effective, would it ? 

Mr. Fulton. I think it could be made effective because I am con- 
vinced an adequate definition could be worked out to cover the case of 
the initial distributor. 

Mr, Beaser. The initial distributor would be included? 

Mr. FlOiTOn. Yes. I don't suggest for a moment you can absolve 
from responsibility the individual news vendor or the retail distribu- 
tor. I do think they carry a very much lesser degree of responsibility 
for this thing than the others. 

I think, therefore, there should be a lesser penalty for them, that 
the penalty should be in the discretion of the court and in our juris- 
diction it runs an average of anywhere from $5 to $50 for the indi- 
vidual vendor, but I feel there should be heavy penalties for those 
higher up in the scale. 

And that until, in fact, my view in conclusion really is that until 
you take effective action to deal with those who first put these things 
into circulation you are not going to deal with the problem. 

As I have said, I do not for a moment suggest that the individual 
vendor and retail distributor can be absolved from responsibility. He 
is a very minor factor in the chain of responsibility. 

I would like to see and have :n fact suggested that our own code 
be amended to make that differentiation, but that suggestion was not 
accepted by the House of Commons and by the Government. 

So that remains at the moment my own opinion and that of certain 
of my colleagues in the House. 

There are a couple of cases I would like to mention, just to finish. 
There is one case in Canada where a publisher has been prosecuted, 
the Queen against the Peer Publisher, Ltd., of Toronto, and William 
Zimmerman, who is the man who is the principal of that firm, resulted 
in conviction and fine of a $1,000 and costs against the company and 
suspended sentence for Zimmerman. No notice of appeal has yet been 

That was a conviction again by way of summary procedure by mag- 
istrate which may account for the relatively low fine. 


There was another case against Kitchener News Co., Ltd., distribu- 
tor, again in the magistrate court. They were fined $25. They ap- 

The appeals court quashed the conviction on technical ground that 
the indictment was incorrectly drawn. The attorney general informs 
me that he is proceeding with a new trial on a fresh indictment. That 
is, so far as I have been able to ascertain, the record of court cases 
dealing with this new law, relatively new law, in Canada. 

I believe that the court cases show that the law is workable and 
effective and the problem is enforcement with, as my personal opinion, 
a desirability of providing heavier penalty and really effective penal- 
ties for those at the top who have the greatest responsibility m the 
chain of circulation. 

One other interesting and encouraging result which has flowed from 
our legislation is that in a number of cities in Canada, particularly 
after the last discussion, when the amended criminal code came up 
before the House and we had extensive and quite interesting debate 
on that section, as a result of that publicity, at least I think it is partly 
as a result of that publicity, a numl)er of both wholesale and retail 
distributors are approaching citizens' committees in some of our cities 
and saying, "We don't want to break the law in the first place and we 
certainly don't want to run the risk of prosecution. We would like 
you to cooperate with us by suggesting to us the offensive titles and if 
you will do that we would like you to get a representative committee 
so that it does not just reflect the minority viewpoint. If you will do 
that we will agree to withdraw those titles from circulation." 

I think that springs in some measure from the existence of the leg- 

As I say, I regard it as a quite encouraging indication that this 
legislation can and will produce beneficial results in Canada, although 
I am afraid again I must confess that I am not suggesting that it is 
the complete answer or that it has yet provided a complete elimi- 
nation of this type of undesirable publication. 

That, Mr. Chairman, concludes the statement which I have to make. 

I appreciate your having listened to me so patiently. I apologize 
for having taken rather lengthy time. I am very much interested in 
this subject. 

If I have abused your hospitality by going on too long, that is 
because of my interest in the subject. 

The Chairman. You have been very helpful and you have made a 

Senator Hennings. I, too, want to thank you very much and 
apologize in turn. I was asked by some representatives of the press 
to get an exhibit of one of the things that was in evidence this morn- 
ing. I was engaged in that effort during the latter part of your 
statement. I shall read with great interest the record. 

The Chairman. I might add it was a very able statement, well 

Mr. Fulton. Thank you very much. 

The Chairman. I think that Canada is fortunate in having such 
an able representative in its Parliament. 

Counsel, do you have any questions ? 

Mr. Beaser. Just one, Mr. Chairman. 


As you notice, this morning I have been asking a number of wit- 
nesses as to the effect on our country's relationships with other coun- 
tries of these crime and horror comics. 

Would you care to comment on what impression and what effect 
crime and'horror comics in Canada are having on the children's ideas 
of what the United States of America is like^ 

Mr. Fulton. I would say that their effect in that regard is not 
very serious in Canada. We live too close to you not to know that our 
way of life and yours are very much the same. 

It would be my opinion, therefore, that a Canadian child reading 
this type of magazine would not — reaction on him would not be what 
dreadful things go on in the United States of America as distinct from 
what goes on in Canada. 

Rather, the undesirability from our point of view certainly is that 
it portrays these as natural and everyday occurrences. 

In other words, our objection to them is not that it portrays the 
United States as a country, which has lower standard of moral values 
than our own. It is merely that they portray human society as having 
an entirely distorted and unreal sense of value and of moral standards. 

Besides that, I would make no, I certainly wouldn't express any 
opinion that they have a derogatory effect on the opinion of our 
cliildren toward America as such because as I have pointed out, al- 
though to a considerable lesser degree, many publications of the same 
type are published in Canada, a sufficient number to be alarming and 

Mr. Beaser. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. It is your considered judgment that this statute 
has been extremely helpful, it is not ? 

Mr. Fulton. Yes, it is. Senator, although I must again repeat that 
I feel it has not been used to the fullest possible extent. 

The Chairman. Senator Hsnnings^ 

Senator Hennings. I have nothing further, Mr. Chairman. Thank 

The Chairman. Thank you again, Mr. Fulton, very much indeed. 

Mr. Fulton. Tliank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr, Samuel Black. 

The Chairman. Mr. Black, will you be sworn? 

Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you are about to give to- 
this subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United 
States Senate, will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Black. I do. 

The Chairman. Will you state your name, address, and associa- 
tion, for the record? 


Mr. Black. My name is Samuel Black. I am a wholesaler and I 
reside at 3 Elwood Drive in Springfield, Mass., and do business at 
31 Winter Street, Springfield, Mass, 

Mr. Beaser. You are a wholesaler of what ? 


Mr. Black. Wholesaler of newspapers, magazines, books, and 

Mr. Beaser. You are also a representative of an organization of 
wholesalers ? 

Mr. Black. Yes, I am a vice president of the Atlantic Coast Inde- 
pendent Distributors Association and chairman of committee 1, which 
deals with indecent literature. 

Mr. Beasek. How" many members would that organization have, 

Mr. Black. We have approximately 270 members in 21 States, and 
the District of Columbia. 

]\Ir. Ijeasek. Now, you testified some time ago before Avhat is known 
as the Gathings committee on the distribution of materials. We are 
concerned here with crime and horror comics. I was wondering 
whether you would not want to make a brief statement in relation to 
that in addition to what we know already from the testimony before 
the Gathings connnittee. 

Mr. Black. We had a meeting of the board of directors of our as- 
sociation here in New York last week. At that time I was instructed 
to prepare and deliver to this committee a statement which, with 
your permission, I would like to deliver now, and insert in the record. 

The (Chairman. You may have that permission. 

Mr. Black. This is the statement of the Atlantic Coast Independent 
Distributors Association on the matter of pornographic and otherwise 
objectionable reading matter. 

The Atlantic Coast Independent Distributors Association appreci- 
ates the invitation to participate in the hearings of the subcommittee 
of the Connnittee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate to In- 
vestigate Juvenile Delinquency, and submits the following statement 
with the request that it be macie part of the record : 

1. The Atlantic Coast Independent Distributors Association is a 
trade association of approximately 270 independent wholesale dis- 
tributors, located in 21 States in the eastern part of the country, and 
in the District of Columbia, who are in the recognized, legitimate busi- 
ness of distributing newspapers, periodicals, magazines, and pocket- 
sized books to retaif outlets for sale to the public. 

2. There are six other such associations of independent wholesale 
distributors throughout the country, regional in their membership, 
all of which have as one of their common objectives the mutual en- 
lightenment of its members, the furtherance of the best interest of 
the independent publishers, the improvement and standardization of 
methods and systems, and the development of a closer and more inti- 
mate relationship between independent distributors and independent 

3. There are approximately 950 wholesale distributors in the coun- 
try selling to more than 100,000 retailers and newsstands. 

4. There are many hundreds of publishers, both large and small, 
in many instances doing business under many names and business 
forms, and in some cases publishing dozens of titles. 

5. In general, all the publishers sell their products to the inde- 
pendent wholesale distributor through IG national distributors, some 
of which are interlocked with the publishers and others of which are 
independent sales agencies or outlets for the publications put out by 
the publishers. 

49632—54 18 


In addition to the 16 national distributors, there is the American 
News Co,, which distributes the publishers' product through its 
branches located in most of the principal cities of the United States. 

6. The wholesale distributor occupies, therefore, a position between 
the publisher — or the national distributor — and the retailer, includ- 
ing the newsstand proprietor. In addition to the daily newspapers 
he carries in stock at any one given time thousands of different titles 
of magazines, periodicals, and pocketsized books, which may come to 
him from all IG national distributors and which in turn have come 
to the national distributors from the hundreds of publishers. 

7. In this connection, it is particularly important to note two things 
in connection with the wholesale distributor's business : 

{a) He is in no way consulted about the editorial or reportorial 
content of the magazines and books he distributes; he simply is the 
active source of supply through whom the retailer receives the pub- 
lisher's product. 

Mr, Beaser. Has he any method in selecting what he gets? 

Mr. Black. He can reject. 

Mr. Beaser. And send back, you mean ? 

Mr. Black. He can refuse and send back and reject. 

(6) The time element in the handling of the publications is such 
that, not only is it physically impossible for the wholesale distributor 
to read the books and magazines before shipment to the retailer, but 
even of no lesser importance is the fact that he nuiy not be qualified 
to appraise their content from the standpoint of ethics, morals, or 
the law. 

8. The wholesaler recognizes and admits that some publishers pub- 
lish and some wholesalers distribute magazines, books, and other read- 
ing material which may contain immoral and otherwise offensive 
matter or place improper emphasis on crime, violence, and corruption 
and does not deny that this may have an impact upon the mind of the 
juvenile, adolescent, and impressionable, and that harm may result 

He is unable to state the degree of this harm and submits that this 
is a matter of scientific study and examination. He has openly stated 
and agreed that the industry must take heed of these conditions and 
that concrete and active steps should be taken within the industry to 
curb the abuses and eliminate the evils. 

9. This association, as well as the other regional associations of 
independent wholesale distributors, deplores the publication and dis- 
semination of offensive and obscene literature. Having taken actual 
and realistic cognizance of this problem, it has taken certain steps, 
both collectively and individually, to curb the issuance and dissemina- 
tion of reading material deemed objectionable. 

Mr. Beaser. How recently were these steps taken ? 

Mr. Black. Right up to the past week. For example : 

(a) In the fall of 1951, this association established committee No. 1, 
so-called, on obscene literature, to deal formally and officially with 
this problem. This committee has been very active in focusing atten- 
tion on this problem and alerting the members to doing something 
about it. 

(h) In its conventions and district meetings this problem is No. 1 
item on the agenda where, again, the problem is brought forcibly home 
to the members of the association. 


(c) It has circularized bulletins to its members and by word of 
mouth and personal contact has kept the subject very much alive and 
urged its members to take an adamant position against the dissemina- 
tion of any borderline or offensive material. 

(d) So-called committee No. 29 of the Bureau of Independent Pub- 
lishers and Distributors, consisting of the presidents of the 7 regional 
independent wholesale distributors associations, has met with the 
publishers involved to discuss individually the matter of offensive 
reading material and the necessity of taking corrective action at once. 
This bureau has recently established committee No. 32, which is 
charged with the responsibility of establishing a code of ethics to cover 
this problem. 

(e) It has urged cooperation on the local level with such local 
groups as Committee on Indecent Literature, the prosecuting officials, 
parent-teacher associations, and others. 

(/) It has gone on record denouncing the publication and dissemi- 
nation of this kind of literature and offered its cooperation to a con- 
gressional committee, the Gathings committee of the House of Rep- 
resentatives (H. Res. 59(3, 82d C'ong.), and incorporates herein by 
reference the testimony of its then vice president, Mr. Samuel Black. 

(See pp. 34—57 of the hearings.) 

(g) The individual wholesaler has been prodded and encouraged 
to refuse to distribute and return the "objectionable" or ""borderline" 
material to the national distributor or the publisher, assuming the 
wholesaler catches this type of magazine or book before it reaches 
the retailer, or, having been distributed to the retailer, to recall it 
from the retail stands and then return it to the national distributor, 
once the wholesaler becomes aware of this objectionable material. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Black, when X crime comic comes in, it comes in 
in packages to you, in your warehouse ? 

Mr. Black. That is true. 

Mr. Beaser. Is it not possible then to just ship all of X magazines 

Mr. Black. It is not only possible, but it is done. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, the only thing that would have to be 
decided in advance is that you do not want to distribute X magazines ? 

Mr. Black. That is correct. 

Mr. Beaser. It does not come in all mixed up as far as you are 
concerned ? 

Mr. Black. No, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. It comes in mixed up as far as the dealer is concerned? 

Mr. Black. That is true. 

Mr. Beaser. So that he has a greater job than you as a wholesaler 
as far as sorting them and saying that this magazine I want, this I 
don't want. 

Mr. Black. By the same token his responsibility is tlie same as mine. 
He has to decide whether he wants to handle what I give him. the 
same as I have to decide what I want to handle what the publisher 
gives me. 

Of course, his responsibility is lessened because I have already made 
some of the decisions for him. 

Mr. Beaser. Your decision, carrying out your decision, it is a little 
easier in the sense that the magazines are physically together? 

Mr. Black. Yes. 


Mr. Beaser. Or you can even refuse to accept all of X magazines t 

Mr. Black. That is not necessarily a point here because tlie dealer 
in opening his bundle has to place the copies on his stand. He would 
not place them as a gToup as he gets them. He must sort them out 
and more or less put them in various pockets. So in taking his bundle 
apart he must take this bundle apart and check the various items 
to see whether or not he is getting the right count and everything 

Mr. Beaser. But when the bundle comes in to you it is identified 
in some way as to what the content is ? 

Mr. Black. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. So that without opening up the bundle you can tell 
what the title is ? 

Mr. Black. That is right. The outside label indicates what is in 
the bundle. 

Mr. Beaser. So it is not a question of bundling it up again ; it is a 
question of shipping it back ? 

Mr. Black. That is right. 

It is difficult to estimate how effective this has been and to what pro- 
portions this practice has developed, but it is fair to say that the whole- 
saler has become of recent time increasingly and voluntarily com- 
mitted to this practice. 

10. It reasserts, however, the position, namely, that the responsi- 
bility for this objectionable material lies primarily with the publish- 
ers who produce it. They cannot escape the charge that tliey are 
unaware of what goes into the story, the comic strip, et cetera. They 
ure the very writers and producers who have the firsthand knowledge 
of the content, title, or the cover of the book. It is on their shoulders 
that this responsibility lies and it is therefore at this core that the 
remedy should be. 

Certainly, as contrasted with the wholesale distributors or the re- 
tailers, the publishers of the material and the 16 national distributors 
are in a much better position to sort the objectionable from the com- 

Therefore, it is on the publishers and the 16 national distributors 
that the onus should fall. 

Reference is had to an editorial in the Toronto, Canada, Globe and 
Mail of March 3, 1954, commenting upon the conviction of three pub- 
lishers and a wholesale distributor for publishing and distributing ob- 
jectionable reading material : 

With all due respect for the courts, we do not believe Mr. Bryan's [wholesale 
distributor] conviction was reasonable. What appeared in three crime story 
magazines was not his responsibility. He could not be expected to have read 
all the stories and articles in every one of the numerous magazines he distributes, 
or if he had, to recognize those which were legally offensive. That responsibility, 
in our view, rested squarely with the people who edited and published them — 
the people who, quite properly, were heavily fined * * *. The full and final re- 
sponsibility for material appearing in newspapers, magazines, and books surely 
belongs with the people who edit and publish them. They have time which the 
people who distribute them have not, knowledge which those people cannot be 
expected to have, legal advice which is not available to them. 

11. This association is opposed to censorship or legislation whi6h 
permits of censorship as the answer to the problem. 

This is the most drastic of all remedies and should be resorted to 
when all other cures have been given a trial and failed, for it is in this: 


area that our traditional cherished concepts of freedom of the press 
and speech may necessarily be done violence to b}' such governmental 

The Chairman. Mr. Black, the Chair assumes from that statement, 
that phase of your statement, that you would be opposed, your associa- 
tion would be opposed, to the enactment of a law such as was de- 
scribed here today by the member of Parliament from Canada. 

Mr. Black. I would say, sir, that any law that would infringe on 
•any individual's freedom must necessarily 

The Chairman. You heard Mr. Fulton's testimony, did you not? 

Mr. Black. I did. 

The Chairman. Do you consider from his presentation that the en- 
actment of that law in Canada has weighed heavily against the right 
•of freedom of the press? 

Mr. Black. I would have to study the law and I would have to have 
it studied for me ; I am not a lawyer, sir. But I would be very fearful 
of any law that would infringe, as I say, on the basic freedoms of the 

There is a tendency to expand laws that could be most harmful. 

The Chairman. Thank you. 


Mr. Black, The Gathings Committee majority report states that: 

Censorship definitely is not a practicable or adequate answer to the problems 
in the field of obscenity. 

Mr. Justice Douglas, of the United States Supreme Court, speaking 
in the case of Hannigan v. Esquire^ Inc., said : 

But a requirement that literature or art conform to some norm prescribed by 
an official smacks of an ideology foreign to our system. 

12. The entire industry must constantly take steps to clean its own 
house and continually be alerted to policing itself. While admittedly 
the independent wholesaler can contribute to some degree to this 
scheme of things, for the main part it is to the publishers and their 
immediate outlets, the 16 national distributors, in addition to the 
American News Co., that the public must look in order to. stop at its 
source the objectional material being issued and sent on its way for 
reading by the ])ublic. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. Black, the wholesaler actually does not see the 
magazines themselves until after they are off the press. You are the 
first one who gets the magazine. They come in to you from the 
printing plant at the order of the distributor, do they not? He does 
not see it until an advance copy comes to him. 

Mr. Black. He certainly sees them before the wholesaler. 

Mr. Beaser. But he does not see the actual copy. He sees an ad- 
vance copy. They are mailed to you, or sent to you from the printing 

Mr. Black. That is true. They are ordered through us by the 
national distributor, or the publisher from the printing plant. 

But the national distributor or publisher certainly sees them. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you think it is possible for the 16 distributors to 
do a more effective job of reading all the stuff that is coming off the 
press than the two hundred-odd wholesalers or is that not every- 
body's job? 


Mr. Black. Isn't it easier to have 16 national distributors police 
this situation than it is to ask 950 wholesalers or 100,000 retailers if 
we want to get down to the basic problem, the core of it, if we want to 
reduce it to the least common denominator ? 

Mr. Beaser. I am wondei'ing if you would not think that the burden 
fell all up and down the line rather than just a particular set of 

Mr. Black. As I state here, we can contribute to some degree in the 
scheme of things, but the primary responsibility rests on the pub- 
lisher and the national distributor. 

13. There are already on our statute books, both Federal and 
State — New Mexico stands alone in failing to have any punitive 
legislation — which makes it a crime to publish, distribute, mail, or 
import obscene or objectionable material. . 

In conclusion it must be admitted that governmental or legislative 
action, whether on the National, State, or local level, however stringent 
and severe, will not solve all these problems, just as any self -policing 
or self-imposed code of ethics will not bring all members into line. 

This Utopia is not within practical reach. The isolated case of 
the "bad'- book or the "horror comic strip" will be played up in the 
press and given wide scale publicity, by the pressure groups, and 
the attention of the public will necessarily be distracted from all the 
good and value the publishing industry, the distributors and the 
retailers offer the adult and the juvenile by the informative, educa- 
tional, recreational, and otherwise much worthwhile reading material 
it publishes and sells. 

Unfortunate as is this fact, and it is a fact, the hope of the industry 
and of the public must be to cut down measurably on the degree of the 
obscene and objectionable material which is finding its way into the 
hands of the public. Where the line must be drawn is, of course,, 
difficult to say. 

On this score reference is again had to the statement of Mr. Justice 
Douglas in the Esquire case where he says : 

Under our system of government there is an accommodation for the widest 
variety of tastes and ideas. What is good literature, what has educational 
value, what is refined public information, what is good art, varies with individ- 
uals as it does from one generation to another. * * * The basic values implicit 
in the requirements of the fourth condition can be served only by uncensored 
distribution of literature. From the multitude of competing offerings the public 
will pick and choose. What seems to one to be trash may have for others fleeting: 
or even enduring values. 

The point is that governmental action of censorship must not be 
lightly entertained. 

On the other hand, it does not follow that there is any room in the 
industry for the obscene and objectionable book or periodical or comic 
strip which may be considered to prey upon the mind of the youth or 
the impressionable. 

The publishers and the national distributors must constantly be on 
the alert and take organized, united and effective action on their own 
initiative to stop the flow of worthless and degrading material and 
not simply pay lip service to the problem. 

The education of all the members of the publishing industry and 
the national distributors is not an easy job, for there are hundreds 
of them in the field and, obviously, the greed for profit from the 


sale of something "hot" is apparently not easy for some of the 
members to overcome. 

But over the years, with proper guidance, education, and the ham- 
mering- away at the problem, it can be done. The independent whole- 
sale distributor can be depended upon to exercise all due care and 

Despite what some local press or some local pressure groups may 
have to say invidiously about the wholesale distributor and the re- 
tailer, the fact is that these men, in the main, are people of good 
reputation and character in their respective communities who are jeal- 
ous of their positions in the communities and are anxious to keep up 
established standards of decency and morality in the eyes of their 
neighbors. Too often, they have been the subject of unfair and igno- 
rant attacks. 

Holding no brief at all for the offensive or the obscene, they have 
no desire to protect or further the distribution of this kind of reading 
material, but are necessarily caught in the kind of business where 
certain members of the public do not want to or cannot understand 
their problem. 

As one of our members so well said : 

Remember, no business can prosper unless it is built on foundations of a moral 
character, for this is the principal element of its strength, and the only guaranty 
of its permanence and prosperity. 

That is the end of my statement. 

The Chairman. Senator Hennings, have you any questions? 

Senator Hennings. I have no questions. 

The Chairman. Counsel, do you have any questions ? 

Mr. Beaser. I have one question. 

In dealing with your dealers, do you permit them to select from 
your total line the magazines, the crime comics, the crime and horror 
comics, that they want, or are they sent in your total ? 

Mr. Black. They have the right to reject. They cannot select be- 
cause that would mean each and every dealer would have to come 
down to the place to determine what is being prepared for delivery, 
and that would be impossible. 

Mr. Beaser. You send each dealer all the titles you get? 

Mr. Black. No; there are many dealers with restricted lists, the 
same as I have restricted lists with my publishers. 

Mr. Beaser. The restriction is of your choice or of the dealer's 

Mr. Black. Which restriction ? 

Mr. Beaser. The dealer who has a restricted list, is he the one who 
made the restriction? 

Mr. Black. He has asked to have certain publications deleted from 
the lists that are being shipped to him. 

Mr. Beaser. No further questions. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Black. We appreciate 
your being with us here this afternoon. 

Counsel will call the next witness. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr, William A. Eichhorn. 

The Chairman. Do you swear that the testimony you are about to- 
give before this subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary of 
the United States Senate will be the truth, the whole truth, and noth- 
ing but the truth, so help you God ? 


Mr. EicHiioRN. I do. 

The Chairman. Now, will you state your full name and address 
and your association, for the record, please ? 


Mr. EiCHHORN". William A. Eichhorn, 10 Cambridge Lane, Man- 
hasset, N. Y. ; executive vice president and treasurer of the American 
News Co. 

The Chairman. Mr. Eiclihorn, have you a prepared statement ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. No, I haven't. I have this here which I would like 
to read. 

The Chairman. You proceed in your own manner and then counsel 
will examine you. 

Mr. Eichhorn. This is a letter which we sent out in March to all 
of our branch managers throughout the country. It is over the sig- 
nature of the president of our company. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr, Eichhorn, it may help a little bit if I ask you a 
few questions about the company so that we get straight how your 
■operation goes. 

On the board we have put up an organizational chart, so to speak, 
of the comic groups distributed by the American News Co. May I 
ask one thing: The American News Co. is a wholly owned operation? 

Mr. Eichhorn. It is a corporation. 

JNIr. Beaser. It operates w^liat otherwise would be called the dis- 
tributor and wholesaler end of the 

Mr. Eichhorn. The wholesale distributors. 

Mr. Beaser. You have branch offices, so to speak, in most of the 
<-ities ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. Approximately 400 around the country. 

Mr. Beaser. You also operate the stands at railroad stations and 
streetcar terminals, too? 

Mr. Eichhorn. Only some, through a subsidiary company. 

Mr. Beaser. Those are line operations, are they not? Line in the 
sense those are employees in the wholesale department ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. No, we have a wholly owned subsidiary company 
called the Union News Co. The Union News Co. operates newsstands 
in certain railroad stations, subways, hotels, and so forth. 

Mr. Beaser. And the people behind the counter on those stands, 
are they your employees? 

Mr. Eichhorn. Employees of the Union News Co. 

Mr. Beaser. And the people who operate your wholesale establish- 
ments in the various areas of the country, they are employees, your 
employees ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. That is correct. 

Mr. Beaser. So you have direct control over them ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. That is correct. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, when you now read a letter which you 
sent out, those are, in effect, instructions and not suggestions? 

Mr. Eichhorn. That is correct. 

Mr. Beaser. You may read the letter and then I will go on. 


Mr. EicHHORN. The subject is "Obscene literature" : 

During the past year or so there has been quite a lot of agitation and publicity 
in connection with the circulation of obscene literature. It has been discussed 
in the press and both private groups and public officials have made statements 
about it. A year ago at this time we sent you a letter stating the policy of our 
company, but it may be helpful to repeat it at this time. You have our full 
permission to quote this letter to any dealer, any Government official, any news- 
paper, any private group, and, in fact, to anybody at all if you should be called 
upon for a statement of our company's policy. 

Ever since its organization 90 years ago it has been the policy of the American 
News Co. that it will not and does not knowingly distribute any obscene 
publications. Many of our publications are entered as second-class matter with 
the United States Post Office. Such material is censored by the Post Office au- 
thority and under its regulations obscene material is not acceptable. We our- 
selves do not censor because it would be impossible to censor the great number 
of magazines and books which we distribute both in the United States and in 
foreign countries. 

Furthermore, we have no legal authority to censor anything. Nevertheless, 
our company has a fine record as a distributor of publications which has lived 
up to all reasonable standards of acceptable literature. We feel that this is 
due in large part to the fact that the publishers for whom we distribute are 
reputable concerns who desire to conduct their business in full compliance with 
the law. 

If any particular publication is complained to be obscene by any responsible 
public authority or private group, we will cooperate to the fullest extent in 
determining whether it is obsecene. If it is determined to be obscene we will not 
distribute it. We feel, however, that the difficult situation on obscenity would be 
made by authorized public agencies, othei"wise the private standards of particular 
groups may be imposed on the reading public which would be an unjustified im- 
pairment of the liberty and freedom of the public. 

W^e have never required any retailer to accept an objectionable publication as 
a condition to obtaining any other publication which we distribute. All our pub- 
lications are fully returnable. 
Very truly yours, 

P. D. O'CoNNELL, President. 

Mr. BurVSER. Let me inquire for a moment as to your relationship 
with the publishers. 

As is customary I gather among other distributors, you made ad- 
vances to publishers? 

Mr. EicHHORN. I don't know what you mean by that. 

Mr. Beaser. When you accept a magazine for distribution, do you 
give them advance royalty ? 

Mr. EicHHORN. Money, you mean ? 

Mr. Beaser. Yes. 

Mr. EiCHHORN. Only in some cases. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you finance printing costs ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. No, sir. We have no financial interest in any pub- 
lication or any publication concerned. 

Mr. Beaser. Strictly distribution ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. Strictly distribution. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you charge a handling charge in any way for 
handling the magazines of the publishers, any magazines ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. We have a handling charge on returns, unsold 
copies that come back. We charge the publisher handling charge 
for liandling the returns. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, the more returns the publisher gets, 
the more it costs him ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. Well, it costs him for the returns, yes, it costs us 
to handle them. All we get is our handling cost. 


Mr. Beaser. So that, actually, the incentive there is to get them 
sold, naturally ? 

Mr. EicHHORN. Sure. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, how many publications do you distribute, Mr. 
Eichhorn ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. I really couldn't tell you ; seven or eight hundred 

Mr. Beaser. How is the selection made as to what you will distribute 
and what you will not distribute? Who does it? How was it done? 

Mr. Eichhorn. Various officials of the company. If the publisher 
wants to distribute through our channels he comes to us and submits 
his publication and our officials talk it over and decide whether or not 
we want to handle it. 

Mr. Beaser. Is that based on the content of the material, or is it 
based on salability, or what ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. Everything. 

The reliability of the publisher, his reputation; the content of the 
magazine, and whether we think it is salable or not. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, we have up there some exhibits and horror comics 
which I gather the American News Co. distributes. We had some 
testimony today, this morning, about St. Johns' publications. 

Mr. Eichhorn. I was not here this morning. 

Mr. Beaser. How do you decide which ones of those you will send 
out, which ones you will not ? Have you any criteria ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. No. As a matter of fact, we no longer distribute 
St. Johns' publications beginning next week. 

Mr. Beaser. Why is that ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. He is changing his method of distribution to one 
of the other national distributors. 

Mr. Beaser. His total output ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. How about the others? Do you look through their 
publications before you distribute them ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. No. 

Mr. Beaser. You distribute them by name, naturally ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. What responsibility do you think a distributor should 
exercise in the realm of screening the type of material which he will 
•carry and send out ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. When we find a publisher putting out any titles 
that are objected to by officials or anybody else, then we take it up with 
the publisher and tell him we don't want him to put any more titles 
like that out. 

Mr. Beaser. Then you actually wait for an official complaint ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. That is correct, unless we see that he is constantly 
putting out things like that, then we will warn him and tell him. 

Mr. Beaser. Do you get many complaints from parent-teacher 
groups, parents, about crime and horror comics ? 

Mr. Eichhorn. I don't know what you mean by many. We get 
them here and there around the country, in various cities, campaigns 
are started by parent-teachers and organizations at different times. 

Mr. Beaser. As a result of that have you taken any action to look 
into the content of some of these crime and horror comics ? 


Mr. EiCHHORN. No, we don't look into the content of them at alh 
If they are found objectionable and the authorities tell us they are 
objectionable, we won't distribute them. 

Mr, Beaser. In other words, you wait for a case under the obscenity 
statutes ? 

Mr. EiciiHORN. Yes, we don't hold ourselves up as censors. 

Mr. Beaser. You will send out anything until the obscenity statutes 
are violated, then you will ^o to the publisher and tell him you will 
no longer carry the obscene publication although you will still carry 
his material? 

Mr. EiciiHORN. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. In relationsliip to your dealer what choice has the 
dealer got as far as crime and liorror comics ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. He can refuse to take anything we send him. If he 
gets something that he doesn't want, he can immediately send it back. 
If he feels he does not want to handle any future copies of that par- 
ticular title all he has to do is tell us he wants no more of X, Y, or Z 
magazine in the future and he won't get them. 

]\Ir. Beaser. That is a selected list he has ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. He can take whatever he wants. 

Mr. Beaser. What was the occasion for this letter to your agents? 
TIad there been complaints about the fact that dealers were being 
forced to take what they did not want ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. No. It was the fact that these various organiza- 
tions around the country were putting on campaigns to eliminate 
-comics that they felt were harmful to their children, things of that 
kind. Not because of dealers refusing to get stuff they didn't want. 

Mr. Beaser. Are you concerned at all as to the effects on children 
which some of the crime and horror comics which you are distributing 
may have? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. Naturally we don't want to put out anything that 
is going to be harmful if we can avoid it. We can't hold ourselves 
up as censors. 

Mr. Beaser. Well, you actually do when you refuse to accept some 
magazines which you have in the past refused, have you not? You 
have refused to distribute certain magazines in the past ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. At that point you do act as a censor ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. When we first take it on, yes, but after we take on a 
line, then we expect that publisher will continue to give us the same 
type of magazine that we have agreed to distribute. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you had in the past complaints about a particu- 
lar crime and horror comic, a particular one, I mean, rather than 

Mr. EiCHHORN. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. Which ones have you had complaints from ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN, I wouldn't know offhand. It would be in a partic- 
ular city, somebody would complain about a particular title. It would 
not be a thing all over the country. 

Mr. Beaser. Have you as a result of that dropped the carrying of 
any crime or horror comics ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. Yes, we in certain cities won't put out particular 
magazines that have been complained of. 


Mr. Beaser. That is a particular issue, not a particular company's 
product ; is that it ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. It might' be a particular issue, and it might be a 
particular title that we will not send in there at all, any future issues. 

Mr. Beasek. Take Weird, for example, if you had a complaint 
about Weird, would you stop handling Weird, or would you stop 
handling the May issue of Weird ? 

Mr. EicHHORN. If we had complaints about the May issue of Weird, 
we would probably call it in from the dealers' stands and send it back 
to the publisher. If the complaint was that Weird as a title as a 
continuing future issue was not acceptable we would not send any 
more Weird magazines into that particular city. 

Mr. Beaser. What would you do in order to ascertain whether it 
is or is not good ? Would you, yourself ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. No, that would be up to the officials, whoever ob- 
jected to it. 

Mr. Beaser. Supposing you had a complaint that Weird was 
putting out some things, your testimony is that you would wait until 
there had been a court case? 

Mr. EicHHORX. No. If any duly constituted authority, city, State, 
National, any duly constituted authority tells us they don't want us 
to distribute Weird magazine, we will not distribute it. 

Mr. Beaser. Regardless of the reason they gave you, or do you wait 
for the reason to be obscenity? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. No, for any reason at all. If they say it is objec- 
tionable, we won't distribute it in that place. 

Mr. Beaser. Now, you also distribute in foreign countries ? 

Mr. EjcHHORN. No, not very much, outside of Canada. 

Mr. Beaser. Canada is the only foreign country you do distribute? 

Mr. EicHHORN. Comics, yes. 

Mr, Beaser. I am talking about comics. 

Mr. EicHHORN. Yes. 

Mr. Beaser. None of these I suppose are yours, are they? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. No. 

Mr. Beaser. I was under the impression that you distribute comic 
books in at least 35 foreign countries. Is that so, or am I wrong ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Beaser. The American News Co. ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Beaser. In other words, the Romance group would not be dis- 
tributed by you in foreign countries ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. That is right. 

Mr. Beaser. You have no branches anywhere except in Canada ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. We have one in London, England. 

Mr. Beaser. Are you concerned at all as to the type of material 
which you send over there, the impression which it will give about 
the United States ? 

Mr. EiCHHORN. We don't send any comics to London. 

Mr. Beaser. Just Canada ? 

Mr. P]iCHH0RN. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beaser. I see. 

No further questions, Mr. Chairman. 



(On June 9, 1954, the subcommittee received the following informa- 
tion which corrects Mr. Eichhorn's statement regarding foreign dis- 
tribution of comics by the American News Co., Inc.) 

The American News Co., Inc., 

New York, N. Y., June 8, 195-',. 
Hon. RoBEKT C. Hendrickson, 

Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. 
Dear Senatok Hendrickson : On Friday, June 4, I testified before you in the 
Federal Conrtliouse Iiere in New York City. At that time, your committee's 
counsel said that he understood that our company distributed comics in 38 
foreign countries. I testified that I did not thiniv this was so, and that distribu- 
tion of comics of publishers for whom we distributed was made directly to for- 
eign countries by the publisher themselves. 

After I returned to the oflSce, I realized that this was not entirely correct. 
The publishers do sell copies direct but our company also distributes some 
copies of comics to dealers in foreign countries. 

Attached, you will find a list in duplicate, of foreign countries to which we 
distribute magazines and on this list we have checked off those countries to 
which we distribute comic magazines to dealers. We do not distribute all comic 
magazines that we handle to all of these countries, but we do distribute some 
copies to each of the countries checked off on the attached list. 

I am sending this to you so that the record will be straight and I regret that I 
did not give you the entire correct picture when I appeared before your com- 

Very truly yours, 

W. A. Eichhorn, 
Executive Vice President. 

FoEEiGN Countries Drawing Comics 


V Argentine Republic 

Belgian Congo 



V Bolivia 

British East Africa 
VBritish Guiana 
V British Honduras 
VBritish West Indies 

V Canal Zone 

V Ceylon 

V Chile 

V Colombia 

V Costa Rica 



V Dominican Republic 
V Ecuador 

V Egypt 
Egyptian Sudan 

VEl Salvador 

Federal Malay State 
VFiji Islands 


V Formosa 

V France 

French Indochina 
French West Indies 

V Greece 

V Guatemala 

V Haiti 

V Hawaii 

VHong Kong 

V Iceland 
V India 

V Indonesia 

V Italy 
V Japan 

V Kenya Colony 

V Malaya 
Marianas Islands 

V Mexico 

VNetherlands Antilles 

Netherlands East Indies 
V Netherlands Guiana 



Foreign Countries Drawing Comics — Continued 

VNew Guinea Siam 

V'Nlcaragua V South Africa 

North Rhodesia South Rhodesia 

Norway South Siam 

Nyasaland V Spain 

VPakistan VSpanish Morocco 

Palestine Straits Settlements 

VParaguay V Sweden 

Persia Switzerland 

V Persian Gulf Syria 

VPeru V Tanganyika Territory 
V Philippine Islands Thailand 

Poland VTransjordau 

V Portugal V Turkey 

V Portuguese East Africa V Uruguay 
VPuerto Rico VVenezuela 
VRepublic of Panama VVirgin Islands 

Rumania Ships 

Sarawak Direct shipments 

The Chairman. Senator Hennings? 

Senator Hennings. I have no questions. 

The Chairman. The Chair thanks you very much, Mr. Eichhorn, 
for your appearance this afternoon. You have been very helpful. 

Mr. Beaser. Mr. J. Jerome Kaplon. 

The Chairman. Will you swear that the evidence you are about 
to give before this subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary 
of the United States Senate will be the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mv. Kaplon. I do. 

The Chairman. I want to welcome a fellow New Jersey citizen 
here. Thank you for coming. 

Will you state your full name and address, for the record?